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Changing Images of Man 

Prepared by The Center for the 
Study of Social Policy/SRI 

Edited by 

O. W. Markley and 
Willis W. Harman 


Explorations of World Order 


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Changing Images of Man 


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General Editor: Ervin Laszlo 

Explorations of World Order 


The Diminishing Returns of Technology: an Essay on the Crisis in 

Economic Growth 


The Inner Limits of Mankind: Heretical Reflections of Today's Values, 

Culture and Politics 


Goals in a Global Community 

Vol. 1: Studies on the Conceptual Foundations 

Vol. 2: The International Values and Goals Studies 

Changing Images of Man 


The New International Economic Order: Changing Priorities on the 

International Agenda 


Poverty: Wealth of Mankind 

Innovations in Systems Science 


Stability and Flexibility: An Analysis of Natural Systems 


Alienation and General Systems Theory 


The Self -organizing Universe: Scientific and Human Implications of 

the Emerging Paradigm of Evolution 


Systems Anthropology. Selected Papers by Ludwig von Bertalanffy 

Changing Images of Man 

By the following staff of and consultants to 



Joseph Cambell, Duane Elgin, Willis Harman, Arthur Hastings, 

O. W. Markley, Floyd Matson, Brendan O'Regan and Leslie Schneider 

Edited by 


Project Director 


Project Supervisor 









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Copyright © 1982 O. W. Markley 

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First edition 1982 

British Library Cataloguing in Publication Data 

Changing images of man. - (Systems science and world 
order library). - (Pergamon international library). 

1. Civilization, Modern- 1950- 

2. Civilization, Occidental 

I. Markley, O W II. Series 

309.ri81'2 CB245 80-49943 

ISBN 0-08-024314-2 Hard cover 
ISBN 0-08-024313-4 Flexicover 

Printed in Great Britain by A. Wheaton & Co. Ltd., Exeter 

I do not wish to seem overdramatic but I can only conclude 
from the information that is available to me as Secretary-General 
that the Members of the United Nations have perhaps ten years 
left in which to subordinate their ancient quarrels and launch a 
global partnership to curb the arms race, to improve the human 
environment, to defuse the population explosion, and to supply 
the required momentum to development efforts. If such a global 
partnership is not forged within the next decade, then I very 
much fear that the problems I have mentioned will have reached 
such staggering proportions that they will be beyond our capacity 
to control. 

U Thant (1969) 

Awareness of ideal values is the first step in the conscious 
creation of images of the future and therefore the creation of 
culture, for a value is by definition that which guides toward a 

"valued" future Any student of the rise and fall of cultures 

cannot fail to be impressed by the role in this historical succession 
by the image of the future. The rise and fall of images of the 

future precedes or accompanies the rise and fall of cultures 

In the end, the future may well be decided by the image which 
carries the greatest spiritual power. 

Fred Polak (1973) 

Much advance, both in biological evolution and in psychosocial 
evolution, including advance in science, is of course obtained by 
adding minute particulars, but at intervals something like crys- 
talization from a supersaturated solution occurs, as when science 
arrives at an entirely new concept, which then unifies an enor- 
mous amount of factual data and ideas, as with Newton or 
Darwin. Major advances occur in a series of large steps, from one 
form of organization to another. In our psychosocial evolution I 
believe we are now in a position to make a new major advance. 

Sir Julian Huxley (1968) 


This study was administered by the Urban and Social Systems Division 
of Stanford Research Institute, Harvey L. Dixon, Executive Director. 
Willis W. Harman, Director of the Center for the Study of Social 
Policy, provided overall guidance and O. W. Markley was Project 

An Advisory Panel to the project, which contributed especially help- 
ful formative suggestions and constructive critiques, consisted of Rene 
Dubos, Henry Margenau, Margaret Mead, and Geoffrey Vickers. 
Similarly helpful advice was given by Kent Collins and Winston Frank- 
lin of the Charles F. Kettering Foundation. 

The core research staff for the study were Duane Elgin, Willis 
Harman, Arthur Hastings, O. W. Markley, Dorothy McKinney, and 
Brendan O'Regan. Major contributions were made by Joseph Camp- 
bell and Floyd Matson, and less extensive ones by Magoroh Maruyama, 
Donald Michael, Leslie Schneider, Barbara Pillsbury, and John Piatt. 
The report was edited by Susan Taylor and Shirley Manning. 
Numerous key insights, acknowledged in the text, came from in- 
vestigators at other centers. Although the project was essentially a team 
effort with various individuals contributing to all chapters of the report, 
specific chapters were principally written as follows: Chapter 2 — O. W. 
Markley, based on contributions from Joseph Campbell, Arthur Hastings 
and Floyd Matson; Chapter 3 — Duane Elgin; Chapter 4 — Brendan 
O'Regan; Chapter 5 — O. W. Markley and Willis Harman; Chapter 
6 — O. W. Markley; Chapter 7 — Duane Elgin; Chapter 8 — Willis Harman. 

Acknowledgment is gratefully given to the late John McHale (1970) for 
calling attention early on to the importance of the "image of man" as an 
area requiring study. His insights, combined with those our staff 
developed during an earlier study ("Contemporary Societal Problems," 
also funded by the Charles F. Kettering Foundation), led to the present 
study being undertaken. 

A draft of this report was reviewed by selected experts to whom we 
are very grateful. They are listed on page xv. Final editorial respon- 
sibility, however, rests with the SRI staff; therefore no approval of the 
report by either the Advisory Panel or the other reviewers is implied 
beyond their statements which are contained herein. 









Images and social policy 1 

A working definition of "image of man" 2 

The relevance of images to modern society .... 3 


Selected historical and modern images of man ... 17 

Early images of man 17 

The human as separate from God and Nature — early 

Near-Eastern views 22 

The Knower — Gnostic view 23 

The individual — Greek views 24 

Empire and Christianity — the Roman catalyst ... 26 

The age of faith — and contention 26 

Man over things — the New Empire 27 

The human as beast — the Darwinian, Freudian, and 

ethological views 28 

The human as mechanism — the view of modern 

behaviorism 29 

The human as person — the view of humanism 

and humanistic psychology 30 

The human as evolving holon — the view of modern 

systems theory 32 

The human as spirit — the view of the perennial 

philosophy 33 


x Contents 

"The American Creed" 35 

Underlying issues and dimensions 37 


Sources of the economic image of man 45 

The image of economic man in the contemporary setting 49 

The poverty of our abundance 50 

The present mismatch between premises and societal 

realities 52 

Going beyond: in search of image/society resolution . 56 

The power of the industrial state 57 

The control of the industrial state 58 

The growing impotence of the economic image . . 62 

Conclusion — prospects for the future 63 

MAN" 67 

Characteristics and limitations of classical science . . 68 

Paradigms in transmutation 68 

Limitations of the scientific process itself 72 

Crucial frontiers in scientific inquiry 75 

Modern physics and cosmology 75 

Other physical sciences 78 

Consciousness research 88 

Parapsychology and psychic research 95 

General systems theory and cybernetics 100 

Sources and characteristics of a possible new paradigm 103 

Interactions between science and society 103 

Characteristics of a possibly emergent paradigm . . 108 


A holistic sense of perspective 114 

Ecological ethic 114 

Self-realization ethic 115 

Multi-dimensional, multi-faceted, and integrative 117 
Balancing and coordinating satisfactions along many 

dimensions 119 

Experimental and open-ended 120 

Contents xi 


Conceptual feasibility of a new image of man .... 125 

Elements of a new image 125 

The gradient 126 

The self 133 

Examining the new image for conceptual feasibility . 138 

Operational feasibility of a new image of man ... 141 

Evolutionary transformation in response to crisis . . 142 

Cultural transformations 142 

Conceptual revolutions in science 144 

Similarities between scientific and cultural revitalization 145 

Mythic transformations 146 

Personal transformations 147 

Synthesis and inference 148 

Institutional and personal change 152 

Imagining makes it so 152 

New paradigms from old 156 

Considerations of operational feasibility 157 


Contrasting future trends and images 164 

Societal consequences of a technological extrapolationist 

image 166 

Societal consequences of an evolutionary trans- 
formationalist image 171 

Individual and social goals 173 

Institutions 175 

Summary 177 


Some premises for the present discussion 183 

Comparison of basic strategies 186 

Salient characteristics of the transformation .... 190 

Nature of the fundamental anomaly 190 

Essential conditions for resolution of the fundamental 

anomaly 191 

Difficulty of achieving a non-disruptive transition . 194 

Elements of a strategy for a non-catastrophic transition 195 

xii Contents 





A. An alternative view of history, the spiritual dimension of 

the human person, and a third alternative image of 
humanness (Elise Boulding) 219 

B. Information systems and social ethics (Geoffrey Vickers) 223 

C. A view of modified reductionism (Henry Margenau) . 229 

D. Scientific images of man and the man in the street (Rene 

Dubos and David Cahoon) 233 

E. Some projects suited to government or foundation support 235 

F. The basic paradigm of a future socio-cultural system 

(Virginia H. Hine) 239 

INDEX 249 

List of Illustrations 

1. Hypothesized time/phase relationship between images and 

social/cultural development 5 

2. The growth of human numbers 9 

3. Urbanization in the United States 10 

4. Selected world population, wealth, and consumption trends 11 

5. Depletion of world reserves of commercial grade ores if 

world population had U.S. living standard 12 

6. Two contrasting epochs of human history 12 

7. Levels of description useful in analyzing social change . 14 

8. Hypothesized interaction between the economic man and 

society 49 

9. Complementarity of various images as they might fit in a 

proposed composite image of the person 126 

10. Various aspects of consciousness/function in the personality 130 

11. Stages of moral development 131 

12. A metaphorical image of the personal and transpersonal 

aspects of consciousness 134 

13. A personal-transpersonal mind/body model .... 135 

14. Two of "N" possible dimensions of an integrative image of 

the person 136 

15. Transcendent-immanent aspects added to the personal- 

transpersonal aspects of an integrative image of the 

16. Composite metaphor of an integrative, evolutionary image 

of the person for the future 137 

17. U.S. one-dollar bill 185 



xii Contents 





A. An alternative view of history, the spiritual dimension of 

the human person, and a third alternative image of 
humanness (Elise Boulding) 219 

B. Information systems and social ethics (Geoffrey Vickers) 223 

C. A view of modified reductionism (Henry Margenau) . 229 

D. Scientific images of man and the man in the street (Rene 

Dubos and David Cahoon) 233 

E. Some projects suited to government or foundation support 235 

F. The basic paradigm of a future socio-cultural system 

(Virginia H. Hine) 239 

INDEX 249 

List of Illustrations 

1. Hypothesized time/phase relationship between images and 

social/cultural development 5 

2. The growth of human numbers 9 

3. Urbanization in the United States 10 

4. Selected world population, wealth, and consumption trends 11 

5. Depletion of world reserves of commercial grade ores if 

world population had U.S. living standard 12 

6. Two contrasting epochs of human history 12 

7. Levels of description useful in analyzing social change . 14 

8. Hypothesized interaction between the economic man and 

society 49 

9. Complementarity of various images as they might fit in a 

proposed composite image of the person 126 

10. Various aspects of consciousness/function in the personality 130 

11. Stages of moral development 131 

12. A metaphorical image of the personal and transpersonal 

aspects of consciousness 134 

13. A personal-transpersonal mind/body model .... 135 

14. Two of "N" possible dimensions of an integrative image of 

the person 136 

15. Transcendent-immanent aspects added to the personal- 

transpersonal aspects of an integrative image of the 

16. Composite metaphor of an integrative, evolutionary image 

of the person for the future 137 

17. U.S. one-dollar bill 185 



List of Tables 

1. Indications that perceptions and behavior are influenced by 

images 4 

2. Selected successes and associated problems of the tech- 

nological/industrial era 6 

3. Dominant images of humankind throughout history . 18 

4. Attributes of the dominant image in contemporary United 

States 39 

5. Elements of an historical analogy for exploring the feasi- 

bility of a new scientific paradigm 106 

6. Three dimensions on a "gradient of awareness" . . . 128 

7. Stages of crisis resolution in myth, culture, science, psy- 

chotherapy, and essential creativity 149 

8. Historical roots of the technological extrapolationist image 166 

9. Historical roots of the evolutionary transformationalist 

image 167 

10. Illustrative contrasts between alternative images . . . 168 



Elise Boulding 

Institute of Behavioral Science 

University of Colorado 
G. David Cahoon 

Department of Secondary Education 

California State University 

San Francisco 
Joseph Campbell 

New York, New York 
Rene Dubos t 

Rockefeller University 
Edgar S. Dunn, Jr. 

Resources for the Future, Inc. 

Washington, D.C. 
James Fadiman 

Counseling Center 

Stanford University 
Roland Fischer 

Maryland Psychiatric Research Center 

Baltimore, Maryland 
Luther Gerlach 

Department of Anthropology 

University of Minnesota 
Charles Hampden-Turner 

Cambridge, Massachusetts 
Stanley Krippner 

Maimonides Medical Center, Brooklyn, 

New York 
Ervin Laszlo 

Department of Philosophy 

State University of New York 
George C. Lodge 

Graduate School of Business Administration 

Harvard University 

Henry Margenau* 

Department of Physics 

Yale University 
Michael Marien 

World Institute 

New York, New York 
Magoroh Maruyama 

Department of Systems Science 

Portland State University 

Portland, Oregon 
Margaret Mead 1 

American Museum of Natural History 

New York, New York 
Ralph Metzner 

Los Angeles Star Center 
Carl R. Rogers 

Center for Studies of the Person 

La Jolla, California 
B. F. Skinner 

Department of Psychology 

Harvard University 
Robert A. Smith, III 

Huntsville, Alabama 
Sir Geoffrey Vickers* 

Reading, Berkshire, England 
Anthony F. C. Wallace 

Department of Anthropology 

University of Pennsylvania 
John White 

Institute of Noetic Sciences 

Palo Alto, California 

• Institutional affiliations of Reviewers are as of 1973, many of which have now changed. 
t Member of the Advisory Panel. 

Selected comments of Reviewers are included as footnotes and appendices to the text 

which follows. 

Introduction to the Pergamon Edition 

Changing Images of Man is an unusual work, one that enthuses some, 
displeases others, and leaves few neutral. 

It was undertaken for a specific purpose: to chart, insofar as possible, 
what changes in the conceptual premises underlying Western society 
would lead to a desirable future. Obviously a research objective con- 
taining many value-laden assumptions! 

Thus it is perhaps not surprising that a number of questions about 
the background of this study have been asked by students in classes at 
the dozen or so colleges and universities that have used Changing Images of 
Man as a text. 

The most common questions concern the study's origins. Why was it 
undertaken? Who supported it? What kinds of researchers wrote it? 
Additionally, most have wanted to know how it is viewed now, some 7 
years later, by the researchers who wrote it. And what it may have led to 
by way of social change. 

The purpose of this introduction to the Pergamon edition is to 
answer some of these questions. 

In 1968 the U.S. Office of Education launched two research centers in 
an ambitious undertaking to "investigate alternative future possibilities 
for the society and their implications for educational policy." One of 
these Educational Policy Research Centers, or EPRCs as they were 
called, was established at Syracuse University, the other at SRI Inter- 
national (then known as the Stanford Research Institute). The SRI 
center, after assessing available methodologies, chose to develop a 
totally new approach. First, we attempted to identify and assess the 
plausibility of a truly vast number of future possibilities for society. We 
next followed a method of analysis that determined which sequences of 
possible futures (that is, which "alternate future histories") appeared to 
be most plausible in light of human history and to most usefully 
serve the needs of policy research and development. Lastly, 
we derived a variety of policy implications, some of which dealt with 
how best to continue this type of inquiry (Harman, Markley, and 
Rhyne, 1973; Rhyne, 1974). 

From this exercise a surprising — and very sobering — conclusion 
emerged. Of some fifty highly plausible future histories, only a handful 
were by usual standards at all desirable (Harman, 1969). The reasons 
why this was so are now, a decade later, familar to serious students of 

CIM - B XV11 

xviii Introduction to the Pergamon Edition 

the future. (They involve the interconnected issues and problems of 
population growth, resource depletion, pollution, and so forth, 
variously termed "the world macro-problem," "le problematique," or 
"the crises of crises.") Other investigators soon came to similar con- 
clusions using different methodological approaches (see, for example, 
Meadows et ai, 1972; or Salk, 1973). 

In the research on the "world macro-problem" that followed, a second 
sobering conclusion emerged: that an essential requirement for realizing 
any of the more desirable alternative future paths would likely require 
fundamental changes in the way our industrial culture is organized. Laws, 
attitudes, ethics — even the very way we conceptualize the nature of 
humankind — may require reform if they are to "fit with" and ap- 
propriately guide the complex interrelated political and social systems that 
have come to dominate modern life (Markley, Curry and Rink, 1971). As 
the inimitable Pogo said in the comics, "We have met the enemy and he is 

Finding it difficult to apply the implications of findings such as these, 
the Office of Education in 1972 shifted the mission of the EPRCs 
toward inquiry into educational-policy problems having more im- 
mediate concern to them, such as on education for the disadvantaged, 
competency-based teacher education and so forth. In order to continue 
the long-range implications of the line of inquiry we had begun, we 
created a second research activity at SRI — the Center for the Study of 
Social Policy. 

In choosing the research agenda of the new center, we reasoned 
that the job of alerting society to the world macro-problem 
ahead was well underway. The policy-research task that now (in 1972) 
seemed most in need of doing (although perhaps least susceptible to 
conventional research methods) was the development of a plausible 
vision of the future in which democratic methods survive, major prob- 
lems are managed successfully if not resolved, and the unfolding of the 
human potential continues to expand. In other words, the postulation 
of a "desirable future" including feasible paths to its realization — the 
world macro-problem notwithstanding. 

About this same time the Charles F. Kettering Foundation was 
looking for "high leverage" ideas — possibly risky approaches to social 
policy research and development in which a relatively small amount of 
support might, if successful, lead to a beneficial effect on society that is 
relatively large. In discussion with Winston O. Franklin and Kent 
Collins at Kettering about the implications of a study they had earlier 
commissioned us to do on contemporary societal problems, we con- 
sidered a variety of ways in which further research on desirable future 
paths involving transformation of fundamental cultural characteristics 

Introduction to the Pergamon Edition xix 

might be usefully done. Although it was tempting, we decided that it 
would be premature to immediately attempt analysis and description of 
the "transformed future" we had by this time come to believe was 
urgently needing to be envisioned. Rather it seemed a more ap- 
propriate task to assess insofar as feasible, the conceptual foundations 
of thinking and doing that might support a benign transition to such a 
future, choosing as our research focus to concentrate on "images of 
nature of man in relationship with the universe;" how past images have 
led to our present industrialized society with its crisis-level problems; 
and what types of images appear to be needed as we move into a 
post-industrial future. The rest of the rationale underlying the study is 
set forth in the "Introduction to the SRI Report" that follows. 

The research study leading to this book was done by a multidis- 
ciplinary team, most of whom had not worked together before, in 
about 8 months. The researchers came from a variety of backgrounds 
ranging from the humanities and social sciences to engineering and 
physics. Most had proficiency in at least two specialized disciplines as 
well as having a generalist orientation — a definite advantage in an 
interdisciplinary inquiry such as this — and all brought with them a 
deep appreciation for the profound ways in which myths and images 
affect the perceptions and actions of humankind in the universe where 
we now find ourselves. 

From the outset, all of us involved in the project realized that the 
subject of our inquiry — the societal consequences of changing images 
of humankind — was a sensitive one; further, that no study of this type 
would seem adequate, certainly not one done in the short time we had 
available, and that it would not be possible to cover all the topics and 
points of view that we would like. Nevertheless, we agreed that due to 
the subject-matter involved, we should follow where the inquiry led, 
even if it meant getting into areas that are unconventional, allowing 
feedback from our advisory panel and from other reviewers to serve as 
a check on our results. 

As to how its authors now view Changing Images of Man and as to 
what the study has led, several generalizations will have to suffice. 
Although the authors are still in fundamental agreement with 
what we wrote almost a decade ago, there are several ways in that 
in retrospect we would like to have done it differently. One change 
would be to present our analysis and findings in a more objective way. 
Although we continue to believe that inquiries of this sort should avoid 
the appearance of "value neutrality," much of the study has a certain 
tone of preaching that although representative of the earnestness in 
which the research was undertaken, we now find less than desirable in 
a research report. Another change would have been to explore more 

xx Introduction to the Pergamon Edition 

deeply the enormous significance that emerging changes in psychosexual 
norms and premises have for the future society. 

It is difficult — perhaps even inappropriate — to assess the direct im- 
pact that the research report Changing Images of Man may have had on 
society. One reason is that the study was not published promptly, hence 
it did not enter the standard bibliographic reference systems that can 
be used for such assessments. (Interestingly, until Ervin Laszlo and 
Pergamon Press initiated their Explorations of World Order Series, the 
study was judged unsuitable for commercial publication because it did 
not fall into any of the marketing categories that publishers con- 
ventionally use.) A second, and more significant, obstacle to assessing 
the impact of the book stems from an increasing recognition since it 
was first released — that the emerging transformation of society seems 
to be proceeding by way of a diffuse network of interrelated influences, 
no one of which seeks to be a "central project" (see, for example, the 
article "The Basic Paradigm of a Future Socio-cultural System" by 
Virginia Hine included here as Appendix F). Certainly many of the 
ideas contained in Changing Images of Man are being debated and 
extended in a variety of settings throughout the society. Two recent 
books, New Age Politics (Satin, 1978) and the Aquarian Conspiracy 
(Ferguson, 1980), describe much of this activity from a proponent's 
point of view. 

With very few changes, the Pergamon edition is essentially the same 
as Changing Images of Man, Research Report No. 4, issued May 1974 by 
the Center for the Study of Social Policy, SRI International. For those 
who want to compare the Pergamon edition with the SRI report, 
specific changes (other than minor editing) are (1) the reordering of 
materials in Chapter 1, adding back in a section on the roleof myth in 
society by Joseph Campbell that was contained in the original draft but 
not in the final version of the report; (2) the modification of Chapter 
2, page 23 to reflect Sir Geoffrey Vickers' comments regarding the 
Christian Image of Mankind as a brotherhood, members one of an- 
other; (3) the addition of a short section in Chapter 2, page 30 in 
response to Carl Rogers' urging that the contribution of humanistic 
psychology be acknowledged as having positive characteristics needed 
by the future image of mankind, and finally (4) the addition of a 
cartoon at the end of each chapter. 

The glossary and the index are also additions of the Pergamon 

O. W. Markley Willis W. Harman 

Studies of the Future Program Institute of Noetic Sciences 

University of Houston at Clear Lake City and SRI International 

Introduction to the SRI Report 

How does one study a priori conceptions which, by definition, are 
fundamental to and lie beyond the rules of inquiry of any particular 
discipline? There is a principle that is made explicit in Gestalt psy- 
chology which states that "without contrast, there can be no per- 
ception; without perceived similarity, there can be no common 

In this study we attempt to discern fundamental and usually un- 
recognized influences on our societal problems, on our social policies, 
and on our hopes for the future. Since our aim is to break out of set 
patterns of thinking (and hence recognize useful new ways of thinking 
and imaging), we have not attempted to follow the research methods 
associated with any particular academic or applied methodology. 
Rather we have tried to follow the course of inquiry wherever it would 
lead — within definite limitation of time, resources, and the nature of 
conclusions which were required of the study — contrasting different 
conceptions held at different times in different places, recognizing 
patterns and similarities between divergent modes of thought, and 
seeking creative syntheses wherever possible. 

The approach used in this study is perhaps best described by the 
anthropologist Levi-Strauss's term "bricolage." 

This is a work for which we have no proper English equivalent. The "bricoleur" is a 
do-it-yourself man, who draws on a stock of miscellaneous materials and whatever 
tools come to hand to do his odd jobs. He is not the meticulous craftsman who insists 
on the precise tool for the precise job. 

(Dorothy Emmet, 1969, p. 47) 

In Levi-Strauss' conception, bricolage thinking conveys a message, 
but the message is not so much the conclusion of a story (though a 
story, as with myths, is generally being told); rather bricolage thinking 
is primarily to exhibit relationships which are important to recognize, 
although it is necessary to make recourse to the level of metaphor in 
order to do so.* 

"I find the bricolage approach very useful . . . necessary to get out of the mode-lock our 
thinking usually falls within. However it seems to me that your report is more analogical 
than metaphorical, seeking (and finding) useful isomorphic relationships between diverse 
areas of knowledge which somehow need to be brought together — although, as you 
suggest, the task in its initial stages cannot be very precise." — Luther Gerlach 


xxii Introduction to the SRI Report 

Images and fundamental conceptions of human nature and poten- 
tialities can have enormous power in shaping the values and actions in 
a society. We have attempted in this study to: 

1. Illuminate ways our present society, its citizens, and institutions have been shaped by 
the underlying myths and images of the past and present. 

2. Explore the deficiencies of currently held images of humankind and to identify needed 
characteristics of future images. 

3. Identify high-leverage activities that could facilitate the emergence of new images 
and new policy approaches to the resolution of key problems in society. 

In seeking to fulfill the above three objectives within the practical 
constraints of the study, we chose to focus on the challenges and 
opportunities facing Western man, and particularly American man. 
While we tried to view the American situation in a planetary context, it 
was not possible to deal adequately with the very different situations 
facing different peoples of the modern world. Also we had to omit a 
number of important and relevant topics. Most notable are modern art, 
literature, theology, and mass movements as activities which will con- 
tinue to influence strongly the image human beings hold of themselves 
and their world.* We have instead chosen to focus on those aspects 
most involved in the rise and potential transformation of industrialism 
as the dominant way of life in modern Western culture. In particular 
we focus on the limitations of current economics and science, and on 
the potential that an integrative and evolutionary image of man might 
have to reunite what C. P. Snow termed "the two cultures" (the 
sciences and the humanities) in order to forge a more appropriate 
policy paradigm for our society. 

In addition to the three main goals above, this project is also a 
somewhat informal experiment in "network development," the pur- 
pose of which is to demonstrate the relevance and interrelatedness of 
conclusions reached by workers in different areas of specialized 
research vis-a-vis these goals; and also to foster an increase in inter- 
disciplinary communication between these workers, agency staffs which 
support such research, and other members of the public. 

* "The only thing I miss in the document is a recognition of the possible role of the arts, 
not simply as agents 'depicting a positive future,' but as openers of the way to delight 
and a sense of fulfillment, not in some future, but now. I don't recall that we ever 
talked about the arts except in terms of the history of art. Their role in the enrichment 
and harmonization of life, and the part that they might play, in this role in the 
enrichment and harmonization of life, and the part that they might play, in this role, in 
the structuring of any future civilization, is a topic, I think, that could be given 
consideration." — Joseph Campbell 

In retrospect, we also overlooked the enormous implications that the modern feminist 
movement has for a new, and hopefully less sexist image of humankind. 

Introduction to the SRI Report xxiii 

Thus, as noted in the Acknowledgments, a discussion draft of this 
report was circulated to a wide variety of learned and expert persons 
for their critique and original contributions. Their briefer comments 
are presented in footnotes throughout the report, and several, more 
inclusive statements are presented in the appendices. In general, com- 
ments of praise from such reviewers are not presented in this report 
unless they happen to balance related, but less happy remarks. 


In Chapter 1 we survey the role of images in contemporary society. 
Any image of humankind implies normative values and goals, which 
are turned by the society into operating rules for social policies. This 
"conversion" is illustrated throughout Chapter 2 which is a selective 
historical survey of images and societies that have particular relevance 
to the current and possible future images held by our society. 

Chapter 3 then explores in detail the development of "economic 
man," an image that has prevailed throughout the industrial era but 
now must be questioned in terms of its inadequacies for a society 
passing beyond that era. 

In Chapter 4, our particular concern is with the conceptual-empirical 
input from scientific research and its influence on our images of 
humankind. At various times in history, man's image of himself was 
shaped by mythology, philosophy, and religion. In our contemporary 
culture, science has added a dominant formative contribution to our 
conception of the nature of the human being — through biology and life 
sciences, physics, psychology, brain research, evolutionary theory, and 
the growing investigation of consciousness states and parapsychological 

The heart of the study is to be found in Chapter 5 — "Characteristics 
of an Adequate Image of Humankind." Whether these characteristics 
prove to be attractive or as adequate as we believe them to be and 
whether they (or others like them) emerge in our culture remains to be 
seen. At this time, we can only explore the feasibility (Chapter 6) of the 
integrative, evolutionary image of humankind that we postulate as an 
adequate image. 

In Chapter 7, we explore some of the possible methods, stresses, and 
consequences of changing images as our society moves into the post- 

* Rene Dubos does not agree that the images of man have been profoundly influenced 
by science. See his comment in Appendix D. 

xxiv Introduction to the SRI Report 

industrial era. This chapter concludes that: 

We can either involve ourselves in the recreative self- and societal-discovery of an 
image of humankind appropriate for our future, with attendant societal and personal 
consequences, or we can choose not to make any choice, and, instead, adapt to 
whatever fate, and the choices of others, bring along. 

Finally, in Chapter 8, we attempt to derive guidelines for action by 
foundations, corporations, government agencies, and voluntary asso- 
ciations. These guidelines are predicated on the desirability of the 
transformation defined in preceding portions of the report, which 
involves both the dominant image of man in the society, and major 
social institutions. 

Appendices present longer comments from reviewers and more 
specific project suggestions. 


Images of Man in a Changing Society 

Man is a symbol-forming organism. He has constant need of a meaningful inner 
formulation of self and world in which his own actions, and even his impulses, have 
some kind of "fit" with the "outside" as he perceives it. 

Robert Jay Lifton, in The Development and Acquisition of Values (1968) 

Symbolic thinking is not the exclusive privilege of the child, of the poet or of the 
unbalanced mind; it is consubstantial with human existence, it comes before lan- 
guage and discursive reason. The symbol reveals certain aspects of reality — the 
deepest aspects — which defy any other means of knowledge. Images, symbols, and 
myths are not irresponsible creations of the psyche; they respond to a need and 
fulfill a function, that of bringing to light the most hidden modalities of being. 
Consequently, the study of them enables us to reach a better understanding of man. 

Mircea Eliade, in Myths and Symbols (1952) 


In this study we attempt to identify and assess the "images of man" 
that are fundamental organizing principles of (1) our society and/or (2) 
of key civilizations that have contributed to it. All public and private 
policy decisions necessarily embody some view (or compromise of 
views) about the nature of man, society, and universe. The kinds of 
educational systems and goals a society sets up, the ways in which it 
approaches the problems of material distribution (poverty and wealth), 
how it treats the welfare of its citizens, the priorities it gives to various 
human needs — all these aspects and many more are affected by the 
image of humankind that dominates the society. Precisely how we 
cannot say with detailed accuracy — which is why metaphors, myths, 
allegories, theories (all of which attempt to express an image) are 
useful. But in a very real way, all policy issues are issues relating to 
fundamental assumptions about the nature of man and his concerns:* 

* "All policy issues are also issues relating to fundamental assumptions about the nature 
of man's institutions and how they interact with man." — Michael Marien 


Changing Images of Man 

If we see ourselves as separate from or superior to nature, then an exploitation ethic 

can be fostered more easily. 

If we see ourselves as a part of or one with nature, then an ecological ethic can be 

fostered more easily. 

If we view human beings (e.g. in medicine, employment, architecture) as animated 

machines of physical parts, then non-physical aspects of our existence are likely to be 


If we view humans as solely spiritual rather than physical beings, then material 

aspects of our existence are likely to be ignored, e.g. in public health, employment 

opportunities, housing. 

If human nature is seen as complete and fixed, then our task is to adapt ourselves 

and our institutions to enhance that development. 


We use "image of man" (or of humankind-in-the-universe) to refer to 
the set of assumptions held about the human being's origin, nature, abilities 
and characteristics, relationships with others, and place in the universe. A 
coherent image might be held by any individual or group, a political 
system, a church, or a civilization. It would consist of beliefs as to 
whether we are basically good or evil, whether our will is free or is 
determined by external forces, whether we are cooperative or com- 
petitive, whether we are essentially equal, and so on. It includes both 
what man (woman) "is" and what he (she) "ought to be." f Most 
societies have a reasonably coherent image of what it means to be 
"human," defining, for example, the ideal social nature of a person. 
But different societies may assume exactly opposite social charac- 
teristics. Hopi culture, for instance, sees people as ideally cooperative 
while "mainstream" American culture usually sees competitive 

* "By using 'man, mankind, men, he, and his' all through, you unconsciously convey 
the old image of the noble masterful male once more out to rescue the human race .... 
Here is the vocabulary you must use if the new image of man is not to be sexist as the 
old: 'humankind, humanity, human being, humans, persons, individuals', etc. For this 
century, at least, until our thought habits have been reformed, the use of 'man' as an 
inclusive term is out .... You can't stick in a sentence on women's lib and adequately 
transform the concept 'human' thereby." — Elise Boulding 

In the present version of this report, we have followed Dr. Boulding's advice with which 
we fully agree, whenever the structure of the phrase and thought allow it, only adding 
"we" or "our" to her suggested vocabulary, and putting the phrase "image of man" in 
quotes where its use seemed not feasible to avoid. 

f What we mean by "image of man" or by the preferable but more awkward phrase "image 
of humankind in the universe" is something that by definition lies at the boundary 
between the conscious, and unconscious part of our minds. Because such imagery exists at 
a preverbal level of consciousness, it is hard to define satisfactorily. Readers who still feel 
uncertain or confused what we mean by those (and related) phrases after reading this 
section may want to read the glossary and page 69 (starting with paragraph 3) before 

Images of Man in a Changing Society 3 

achievement as the ideal. If the successful or ideal adult is assumed to 
be competitive, then children as they grow up are encouraged to be 
competitive, games are based on competition, success in competition is 
rewarded, and competition becomes a dominant motive, thus validating 
the assumption contained in the image. The same is true, in a similar 
manner, if a society's image defines the ideal person as cooperative, as 
independent, or as having any other of the many possible social attitudes. 

An "image of (the nature of) man" is thus a Gestalt perception of 
humankind, both individual and collective, in relation to the self, 
others, society, and the cosmos. It may contain many levels and face 
contradictions and paradoxes — as does the living human being — and 
still be experienced as an organic whole. 

However, any image is necessarily selective, not only as to what 
categories of human attributes are included, but also as to the facts 
which are asserted to be true of them. Some images are narrow, 
ignoring many possibilities; others are more comprehensive, embracing 
more of the person's potential being. Each, however, selects which 
attributes and qualities are to be considered real and which are to be 
developed, admired, accepted, despised or otherwise attended to. 

These images are held at varying degrees of an awareness by persons 
and by societies. For some (e.g. the "True Believers" described by Eric 
Hoffer, 1951), images are likely to be in the forefront of awareness, 
seen as reality and used consciously in perceiving the world and in 
making decisions. For most, however, assumptions about the nature of 
human beings are held beneath the conscious level of awareness. Only 
when these hidden assumptions are recognized and brought into 
awareness is an "image of man" discovered and/or constructed. Then 
the image can be examined carefully and with perspective, to be 
retained, discarded, or changed. 

Furthermore, no one knows the total potentiality of humankind. Our 
awareness of human "nature" is selective, shaped by our symbolic and 
presymbolic images. From the total possibilities — nature, abilities, and 
characteristics that make up the human potential — our images of 
humankind reflect those aspects we are "in touch" with, or that are 
defined as real by the knowledge, social norms, cultural assumptions, 
and myths. 


The power of an image to bring about change is not easily demon- 
strated for two reasons: first, because of the intangibility of images 
themselves and, second, because the prevailing views in science have 

4 Changing Images of Man 

not yet readily accepted the evidence suggesting the power of images. 
However, there are numerous indications that a person's or a society's 
images can strongly affect perceptions, and therefore actions (see Table 


While it is obviously important that our underlying images and 
beliefs be good maps of the reality in which we live, we probably do 
well not to pay them overmuch attention as long as the continuing 
welfare of society and its citizens seems secure. Many of our present 
images appear to have become dangerously obsolescent, however. 

An image may be appropriate for one phase in the development of a 

Table 1 


• Clinical data from psychotherapy indicating the life-shaping effect of an individual's 

• Anecdotal data relating to behavior changes induced by self-image change following 
plastic surgery 

• Studies of effects of experimenter expectations in research with both animal and 
human subjects 

• Studies of effects of teacher expectations on student performance 

• Research on expectancy set, experimenter beliefs, and placebo effect in studies of 
hypnotic phenomena, psychotropic drugs, sensory deprivation, etc. 

• Anthropological studies indicating that perceptions of self, others, and the 
environment are highly influenced by cultural images and expectations 

• Research on visual perception indicating the extent to which what is perceived 
depends on past orderings of perceptions (e.g. the Ames demonstrations), on felt 
needs, on expectations, and on the influence of important others (e.g. the Asch 

• Studies of authoritarianism and prejudice, indicating the extent to which other 
persons are seen in terms of stereotypes 

• Examples from the history of science indicating how new conceptualizations have 
resulted in new ways of perceiving the world 

• Research on the role of self-expectations in limiting academic achievement of 
underperforming children 

• Hypnosis research demonstrating the influence of suggestion-induced images and 

• Athletic coaching practices utilizing deliberate alteration of expectations and self- 

• Expectation-performance relationships in studies of conquered peoples, prison- 
camp populations, etc. 

• Anecdotal data from executive development courses based on the alteration of 
self-image and self-expectations through autosuggestion 

• The sociological theorem of W. I. Thomas: "If men define situations as real, they 
are real in their consequences." 

• Research of the Nancy school of psychology (Emile Coue, C. Baudouin, C. H. 
Brooks et al.) on the power of imagining 

• Esoteric religious teachings, East and West, on the power of belief, images, and 
prayer, e.g. Matthew 17:20: "For truly, I say to you, if you have faith as a grain of 
mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, 'Move hence to another place,' and it 
will move." 

Images of Man in a Changing Society 5 

society, but once that stage is accomplished, the use of the image as a 
continuing guide to action will likely create more problems than it 
solves. (Figure 1 illustrates, in a highly simplified way that will be 
further developed in Chapter 3, the interaction between "changing 
images of man" and a changing society.) While earlier societies' most 
difficult problems arose from natural disasters such as pestilence, 
famine, and floods (due to an inability to manipulate the human's 
environment and ourselves in unprecedented ways, and from our 
failure to ensure wise exercising of these "Faustian" powers — as Spengler 
termed the term). 

Science, technology, and economics have made possible really 
significant strides toward achieving such basic human goals as physical 

New image 


Image leads /guides 
social /cultura 

image of 

Image lags, crisis of 
direction results 

Social / cultural development 


Fig. 1. Hypothesized time/phase relationship between images and social/cultural develop- 

When images "lead" social development they are anticipatory, and provide direction for 
social change. When images are in this relation to society they exert what Polak (1973) has 
termed a "magnetic pull" toward the future. By their attractiveness and meaning they 
reinforce each movement which takes the society toward them, and thus they influence the 
social decisions which will bring them to realization. 

As society moves toward achievement of the goals inherent in the image, the congruence 
increases between the image and the development of man and society: the promise of the 
image is explored, needs are satisfied. Then, as with paradigms and myths, there may come a 
period in which the evolution of the society goes beyond the adequacies of the image. Policies 
based on the dominant image then become consequently faulty, even counterproductive, 
precipitating a period of frustration, cultural disruption, or social crisis and the stage is set 
for basic changes in either the image of man or the organization of society. 

6 Changing Images of Man 

safety and security, material comfort, and better health. But as Table 2 
illustrates, many of these successes have brought with them problems 
of being "too successful" — problems that themselves seem insoluble 
within the set of societal value premises that led to their emergence.* 
Improved health, for example, has caused population increases which 
exacerbate problems of social organization, food distribution, and 
resource depletion. Our highly developed system of technology leads to 
a higher vulnerability to breakdowns. Indeed, the range and inter- 
connected impact of societal problems that are now emerging pose a 
serious threat to our civilization. 

Table 2 



Problems resulting from 
being "too successful" 

Reducing infant and adult 

mortality rates 
Highly developed science and 


Machine replacement of manual 

and routine labor 
Advances in communication and 


Efficient production systems 
Affluence, material growth 

Satisfaction of basic needs 

Expanded power of human 

Expanded wealth of developed 
nations; pockets of affluence 

Regional overpopulation; problems of 
the aged 

Hazard of mass destruction through 
nuclear and biological weapons; vul- 
nerability of specialization; threats 
to privacy and freedoms (e.g. sur- 
veillance technology, bioengineering) 

Exacerbated unemployment 

Increasing air, noise, and land pollu- 
tion; "information overload;" vulner- 
ability of a complex society to break- 
down; disruption of human biological 

Dehumanization of ordinary work 

Increased per capita consumption of 
energy and goods, leading to pollution 
and depletion of the earth's resources 

Worldwide revolutions of "rising ex- 
pectations;" rebellion against non 
meaningful work 

Unanticipated consequence of technolog- 
ical applications; management break- 
down as regards control of these 

Increasing gap between "have" and 
"have-not" nations; frustration of the 
revolutions of rising expectations; 
exploitation; pockets of poverty 

"I strongly disagree with the last four societal premises in this greatly over-simplified 
table. We are moving from an era of perceived affluence to an era of scarcity. When the 
quality of goods is considered, in addition to the costs that we do not include in our 
GNP calculations, we are not as affluent as we think. Moreover, basic needs have not 
been satisfied for some, and this problem may worsen very soon. The expanded power 
of human choice is problematic, as is the expanded wealth of developed nations — it 
simply depends on definition." — Michael Marien 

Images of Man in a Changing Society 7 

Additionally, it appears that although some of our images and needs 
have come to be served most adequately by what we now term the 
industrial state, others have fared more poorly. From studies of 
mythology and past civilizations done by Joseph Campbell, at least five 
functions stand out as needing to somehow be fulfilled by images, 
rituals, and institutions of a society. They are the mystical, the cos- 
mological, the sociological, the pedagogical or psychological, and the 
editorial functions. 

The mystical function inspires in the individual a sense of the mystery, 
the profound meaning of the universe and of his own existence in it. What 
are the origins and the density of humankind? How is existence maintained 
and why? These are questions whose answers — however adequate they 
may or may not be — as experientially realized by an individual serve the 
mystical function. 

The cosmological function is to form and present images of the 
universe and world in accord with local knowledge and experience. The 
structure of the universe is described and the forces of nature identified, 
such that humans may more adequately picture what their world is like. 

The sociological function is to validate, support, and enforce the local 
social order, representing it as in accord with the sensed nature of the 
universe. For example, myths, rituals, and social structure from hunt- 
ing cultures emphasize men as the bearers of power whereas those 
from planter cultures usually emphasize women as bearers of life. 
Medieval European culture emphasized the central importance of the 
Church, and our own, the legitimacy of the modified free-market 
economy and pluralistic body-politic. 

The pedagogical or psychological function is that of guiding each 
member of the culture through the stages of life, teaching ways of 
understanding oneself and others, and presenting desirable responses 
to life's challenges and trials. Rites of passage, councils of elders, 
psychotherapy, and education all serve this function. 

In its editorial function, the myths and images of a culture define 
some aspects of reality as important and credible, hence to be attended 
to, while other aspects are seen as unimportant or incredible, hence to 
be ignored and culturally not seen. For example, the anthropologist 
Malinowski reported that the Trobriand Islanders believe that a child 
inherits his physical characteristics only from his father. Hence, the 
Trobriands simply do not observe or notice any resemblance between 
the child and his mother, although to Malinowski, such similarities 
were quite evident. 

Two additional functions — the political and the magical — are also 
noteworth. The political, as distinct from the strictly sociological, func- 
tion appears wherever a myth or institution of society is deliberately 
employed to represent the claim to privilege and authority of some 

8 Changing Images of Man 

special person, race, social class, nation or civilization; and the magical, 
wherever prayers, rituals or other "extraordinary" techniques are used 
for special benefit, such as for rain, good crops, war-winning. 

How well do our current "myths" fulfill these functions which stand 
out in importance from the perspective of history? Mythology, at least 
among most "educated" people, is now relegated to the status of mere 
superstition, as is anything that sounds "mystical." The mystical 
function of inspiring in the individual a sense of the profound meaning 
of the universe has been neglected almost entirely, as synagogues and 
churches, the traditional servants of this role, have become increasingly 
concerned with social justice. Science now performs the cosmological 
function, but its successes in this regard have become so complex that 
the average person has little comprehension of how scientific know- 
ledge defines the world, other than by consuming the products that 
science and technology have made possible. Bureaucrats and other civil 
servants, who make no claim to understanding or even seeking any 
larger picture of reality, now carry out the sociological function of 
enforcing the local social order. The pedagogical function of guiding 
each individual through life's stages has been — except for those who 
can affort psychotherapy — taken over by an institution of education 
which (at least until very recently) deals almost solely with preparation 
for work in an industrialized society. The editorial function in Western 
Culture was dominated first by the Church (which emphasized a very 
specific image of man and associated ideology) and more recently by 
science (which emphasizes another limited image). It appears now in 
the process of being taken over by the funding agencies (government 
legislatures and departments of program planning, foundations, and so 
forth) who also represent special interests in the selection of which 
aspects of reality should be collectively ignored and which attended to. 

Furthermore, there is no indication that our society, operating under 
its currently dominant guiding images and values premises, will not 
continue to create vexing problems at an increasing rate. Researchers 
at the Hudson Institute have identified what they call "The Basic 
Long-term Multifold Trend of Western Culture" that represents a 
cluster of social forces similar to those causing the "successes" noted in 
Table 2. The Multifold Trend includes developments such as: 

1. Increasing sensate (empirical, this-wordly, secular, humanistic, pragmatic, manipu- 
lative, explicitly rational, utilitarian, contractual, empicurean, hedonistic, etc.) cul- 

2. Bourgeois, bureaucratic, and meritocratic elites. 

3. Centralization and concentration of economic and political power. 

4. Accumulation of scientific and technical knowledge. 

5. Institutionalization of technological change, especially research, development, in- 
novation, and diffusion. 

Images of Man in a Changing Society 

6. Increasing military capability. 

7. Westernization, modernization, and industrialization. 

8. Increasing affluence and (recently) leisure. 

9. Population growth. 

10. Urbanization, recently suburbanization and "urban sprawl" — soon the growth of 

1 1 . Decreasing importance of primary and (recently) secondary and tertiary occupations; 
increasing importance of tertiary and (recently) quaternary occupations. 

12. Increasing literacy and education and (recently) "knowledge industry" and in- 
creasing role of intellectuals. 

Innovative and manipulative social engineering — i.e. rationality increasingly ap- 
plied to social, political, cultural, and economic worlds as well as to shaping and 
exploiting the material world — increasing problems of ritualistic, incomplete, or 
pseudo rationality. 

Increasingly universality of the multifold trend. 
Increasing tempo of change in all the above. (Kahn and Bruce-Briggs, 1972) 


The impact and likely consequences (for better and for worse) of 
continuing with this societal trajectory can be inferred from a study of 
Fig. 2 through 5. If such projections of the future prove correct, we can 
expect the problems associated with the multifold trend will become 
more serious, more universal, and occur much more rapidly than will 
growth of the trend itself.* 

Stone 5000 200Q , ^ ^ 

Age 62 mil |25 25Q 1650 | 850 

10 mil 


I billion 

2 billion 


Old Stone Age 

Hundreds of thousands_ 
of years 

New Stone Age 

3 billion 2000 

6. 1 billion 

~\ « 

,\ A. 



6000 5000 4000 3000 ZOOO 1000 BC>AD COO 2000 

Fig. 2. The growth of human numbers. (Source: McHale, 1972.) 

"It should be noted that those (1972) figures reflect trends that preceded the OPEC oil 
blockade, energy price increases, and the host of trend-changing events that have since 
occurred. These figures are included in this 1980 edition, both for historical reasons 
(since they led to studies like this one) and since they still illustrate the policy 
implications of the traditional images and premises of Western Culture." — O. W. 


Changing Images of Man 

300pMillion people 
and acres 



Acres per ~| o.2i 

\ / \ Urban acres per 
^ urban person 

\ Urban 

\ population 



Number of acres 
urbanized .---"' 






^ 0.16 

J 0.I5 

1850 1870 1890 1910 1930 1950 1980 2000 

Fig. 3. Urbanization in the United States. (Source: McHale, 1972.) 

But the multifold trend (essentially, rampant industrialization and 
consumption), with all its associated problems, need not prove to be the 
dominant characteristic of our future society. As Fig. 2 through 5 
imply, for most of human history the growth of man's population was 
slow and its impact on Earth ecology relatively small. Humans lived close 
to the soil in widely dispersed communities, such that the actions of one 
community had relatively little impact on most others not near by. But 
now society grows ever more complex, specialized and interconnected, 
and the production and distribution of essential goods and services is 
increasingly dependent on the continued integrity of human in- 
stitutional systems. Human systems, however, depend on trust, 
agreement, and political law rather than on unchanging "natural" law, 
hence they are inherently less stable in times of rapid cultural change 
than are "natural" systems. They are particularly sensitive to break- 
downs caused by war, terrorism and simplistic attempts at societal 

Images of Man in a Changing Society 


World population and wealth 

Underdeveloped countries 






oped countries ./ 




/ N GNP 







Population^ — 

1 1 

1 1 1 1 

I 1 1 A 1 J 1 1 o 

1965 1970 1975 1980 1985 1990 1995 2000 1965 1970 1975 1980 1985 1990 1995 2000 

World energy consumption and population 

Energy consumption and living 


J L 

o 1000 — 


— :r 
u s 





France 0$^S : %M^M$ : " 
• Australia 
_ 4'RKitWest Germ 




• Argentina 

?;:$ Mexico 

• India ! I 



1950 I960 1970 1980 1990 2000 2000 4000 6000 8000 10,000 

Energy consumption, kilograms of coal 
equivalent per capita 

Fig. 4. Selected world population, wealth, and consumption trends. (Source: McHale, 


Salk (1973) has suggested a simple graphical way of comprehending 
these changes and the corresponding level of changes that need to take 
place during the decades to come. As portrayed on Fig. 6, the past and 
future history of mankind can be represented as comprising two 
phases. Salk calls the first phase, which includes all mankind's past 


Changing Images of Man 


in earth's crust 

Parts per million 





Chromium 1 




Stainless steel 

Nickel ■ 



Stainless steel 


Tungsten 1 


Abrasion resistance 


Copper ■ 


Electrical wire 


Lead ■ 


Storage batteries 


Zinc ■ 


Galvanized steel 


Tin ■ 


Tinplate for cans 




Hardening steel 

1 5 

Mercury H 

Chlorine productior 


Silver 1 





Photographic film 
t 1 







60 72 


to deple 


Fig. 5. Depletion of world reserves of commercial grade ores if world population had 
U.S. living standard. (Source: Gough and Eastland, 1969, based on data from U.S. 

Bureau of Mines.) 

I § 

Epoch "A" 

Epoch "B" 




Fig. 6. Two contrasting epochs of human history (Jonas Salk). 

history, Epoch A — an epoch in which (for the above reasons) the 
survival of the human species depended on essentially individual 
actions, on the survival of the fittest, and on successful competition with 
other life forms. He calls the second phase, which must characterize 
any desirable future, Epoch B — a future in which humankind limits the 

Images of Man in a Changing Society 13 

growth of those activities that undermine the welfare of the ecology; 
hence where the survival of the species will depend more on the 
behavior of the whole species than of its individuals, on cooperation 
rather than competition, and emphasizing the survival, not of the 
physically fittest, but of the wisest. 

While it is perhaps unrealistic to expect that the United States and 
other industrial nations would voluntarily limit their own consumption 
of physical resources and share their wealth more equitably with less 
affluent nations, it may be equally unrealistic to think that we will not be 
forced into making just that choice. With only 6 percent of the world's 
population, the United States currently uses about half of the world's 
resource output. And this standard of living that we enjoy is the growth 
goal of most developing nations — most of whose citizens are under- 
nourished and undereducated. 

As the late Prime Minister of Canada, Lester Pearson, observed, 

No planet can survive half slave, half free; half engulfed in misery, half careening 

along toward the supposed joys of an almost unlimited consumption Neither 

ecology nor our morality could survive such contrasts 

While not all researchers agree that such an epochal transition is 
facing mankind, most agree that the developed nations of Earth now 
face a series of fundamental dilemmas. By more adequately under- 
standing the nature of these dilemmas, how they have emerged, and 
how they might be resolved, it should be possible to see new pos- 
sibilities for a better future. As a concise statement of why the role of 
images is crucial to such an understanding, four different types or 
"levels" of societal problems are delineated below (Markley et al., 1971): 

1. Substantive problems lie at an applied or operational level, and are usually identified 
as immediate targets for corrective attention or increased allocation of money or 
other resources. 

2. Process (or Procedural) problems are those that impede the process of collectively 
setting priorities and strategies to solve the substantive problems. 

3. Normative problems concern the appropriateness and effectiveness of a people's 
values, preferences, goals, and so forth, that are the basis of planning and priority 

4. Conceptual problems are difficulties that seem to be intrinsic to the way we think, the 
words we use — in short, to the particular vision or understanding of reality that is 
dominant in a culture — thus affecting our ways of perceiving and doing, and also 
affecting the formation of our normative values. 

These four categories can be thought of as referring to four levels of 
(1) the state of society, (2) behavior, (3) motivations, and (4) basic values 
and perceptions (see Fig. 7). 

14 Changing Images of Man 



Basic values 

Levels of 

Fig. 7. Levels of description useful in analyzing social change. 

The importance of distinguishing the above four aspects is evidenced 
by the fact that most informed persons agree on what the crucial 
substantive problems of our time are: inflation, unemployment, pollu- 
tions, world hunger, threat of war, and so forth. Most of the visible 
disagreement — at least in the United States — occurs at the process level, 
in the assignment of priorities and in the choice of strategies: for 
example, in the supposed tradeoff between "environment and jobs," or 
in the choice whether to develop social policies that are future-oriented 
rather than those that are politically expedient, but short-sighted. But 
the third and fourth categories, normative and conceptual social prob- 
lems, have been almost totally ignored to date.* With the extensive 
changes brought by the accelerating "manifold trend" discussed ear- 
lier, however, obsolescent values and inappropriate conceptions may be 
precisely that which keeps us from finding satisfactory resolutions to 
the gripping social problems that increasingly confront us. 

Our image of ourself and our universe has become fragmented and 
we have lost the guiding "sense of the whole" that earlier civilizations 
seem to have had. At present our society goes from crisis to crisis, with 
piecemeal responses being made to ameliorate each, and with the 
measures taken to relieve one crisis invariably making another problem 
worse, so interwoven is our social system. There has been little effort, 

"During the eight years since the first release of this report in 1973, a small, but increasing 
amount of attention has been and continues to be focused on normative and conceptual 
concerns. For example, the National Endowment for the Humanities and the National 
Science Foundation have jointly sponsored a continuing extramural research program on 
'Values in Science and Technology'; a major research institute, the Hastings Center has 
been established to examine questions involving social ethics; and a variety of books and 
reports are appearing that examine the possibility of conceptual and organizational 
transformation in various levels of society." — O. W. Markley 

Images of Man in a Changing Society 15 

and less success, in searching out deeper strata of social forces — the 
basic images of our nature and our future, and the associated premises 
which underlie the behaviors that lead to societal problems. Might it be 
possible that a more adequate image of humankind could lead to a 
renewed sense of wholeness and to better behavior — both individual 
and collective? 

By addressing ourselves to such questions we hope to help elevate 
the level of debate regarding the future of our nation and future of 
humankind generally, thereby creating new understandings through 
which societal problems that previously looked irresolvable may 
become increasingly tractable. 

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l»m»*».<ie,Tli! Muj uo>. 



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Reproduced by permission of Newspaper Enterprises Association, Inc., New York. 


Some Formative Images of Man -in -the -Universe* 

As intercultural commerce, warfare, "forced conversion," and other 
modes of cultural diffusion have operated through the millennia of 
human history, an incredible variety of images on man have 
developed — some remaining relatively pure, most blending with others. 
We do not attempt an exhaustive survey of this diversity, but rather 
focus only on a select few of the relatively "purer" types of image that 
fulfill one or more of the following three criteria: 

1. It shows how the image of humankind — in relation to other forces — can influence 
the way in which a culture develops. 

2. The image has significantly shaped or affected the development of our culture in 
directions that need reexamination. 

3. It offers unrealized potential for moderating the problems that are unique to our 

This brief survey should therefore not be read as a complete history 
of human images. Certainly most of the images portrayed are neces- 
sarily oversimplified, but they may nevertheless provide useful insights 
for our time. These images are summarized in Table 3. 

After the brief survey we note some underlying dimensions along 
which the various images of humankind can be compared. We then 
estimate what images seem currently dominant in the United States, 
and portray what the "center of gravity" or composite image of man in 
this country seems to be. 


Early Images of Man 

It is significant that we have come to equate the rise of civilization in 
the Old World with the emergence of the first literate societies in which 
small elitist groups hold the keys to a kind of esoteric knowledge which 

A much more scholarly and complete survey of the images that have shaped Western 
civilization (especially of Judeo-Christian contributions) is contained in Fred Polak's 
classic treatise Die Teokomst Is Verledon Tijd (W. Haan, 1958). Translated from the Dutch 
into English by Elise Boulding as The Image of the Future, it is available both in a 
two-volume unabridged version (Oceana Publications, 1961) and an abridged volume 
(Elsevier, 1973). Both are currently out of print, but can often be borrowed through an 
inter-library loan. 


Table 3 



Dominant image 

Cultures in which 

image is at 

present active 

Significance for 
post-industrial era 


40,000 B.C 


15,000 B.C. 


9000 B.C. 


3500 B.C. 


2350 B.C. 


Age of the 

1200 B.C. 

500 B.C. 

The hunter, focus of the male- 
dominated culture field of the 
"Great Hunt" 

Including sense of spiritual affin- 
ity between beasts and man, of 
which totemism is an expression 

The planter, the child of the God- 
dess; woman the giver of life 

The human civilized through sub- 
mission to seasonal variations and 
ruling elites 

The human as a mere creature fash- 
ioned of clay to serve the gods, 
or some god, as a slave; but 
superior to and having dominion 
over nature. Notion of "chosen 

The human having free will, having 
to choose between good and evil, 
mythology of individual salvation 

India: one deluded by maya; the 
Buddha representing the absolute 
fulfillment of the Indian image of 

Few cultures in its 
pure form; most 
in its militaristic 

Various American 
Indian cultures 
with traditions 

Hindu and certain 
other cultures 

Most cultures 

Orthodox Jewish, 
Christian, Islamic 

All Western cul- 
tures, in a secu- 
lar form 


Jeopardizes cross- 
cultural peace; may be 
necessary for police 
operations, however 

Has relevance for a 
renewed sense of part- 
nership with other life 
forms on the planet 

Has possible relevance 
for balancing male- 
emphasis of Western 

Has relevance as his- 
torical analogy: shows 
"political function" of 
new images 

Stands in its present 
form as an obstacle to 
emergence of new eco- 
logical understandings 

Presents a basic polar- 
ity needing to be dia- 
lectically transcended/ 

Could contribute to a 
new "self-realization 
ethic" for our culture 



Early 100 A.D. 

(and Muslim) 622 A.D. 

man as yogi released from the 
wheel of karma, death and rebirth. 
Intrinsic divinity of humankind 
realizable through own efforts 
China: Confucius and the paradigm 
of the "superior man" as politi- 
cally and socially concerned sage 

Levant: as a slave, submissive to 
God in the image of a despot 

Greece: Aeschylus and image of 
human as tragic hero 

Oriental cultures 

Some forms of 
Islam, Christian- 

Most Western cul- 
tures to some 

Greece: Mystery religions, the 

person becomes so attached to the 
material things of this world that 
he/she has lost touch with his/her 
own true nature which is not of these 
things, but of spirit — himself the 
very being and model of that Spirit 
of which each is but a particle 

Greece: science and objective 

knowledge as aesthetic rather than 
utilitarian activity; naturalistic 
emphasis in science, art, and 

Two contrary images/(l) following 
the Semite and Zoroastrian tradi- 
tions, God's servant — obey or be 
dammed; (2) that of the Gnostics 
similar to the image of the Greek 
mystery religions, the person 
"saved" by self-knowledge 

All cultures, but 
never very visible 

None in which 

(1) Traditional (1) 
Muslim cultures; 
(2) Most cultures 
as an underground 

if incorporated into a 
larger synthesis 

Could contribute to a 
new "ecological ethic" 
for our culture if in- 
corporated into a larger 

Possible to see ecologi- 
cal requirements in this 

Could provide a guiding 
image for personal/ 
societal transformation 
in time of crisis 

Could contribute to de- 
emphasizing material 
overconsumption and 
ecological understand- 

Has relevance to coun- 
terbalancing the "tech- 
nological ethic" 

(1) A dominant image that 
needs to be incorporated 
into a larger synthesis; 
(2) Could contribute to 
a new "self-realization 
ethic" for our culture 
if incorporated into a 
larger synthesis 



Table 3 (Cont.) 





Dominant image 

Cultures in which 

image is at 

present active 

Significance for 
post-industrial era 





times and 
places from 
circa 1500 
B.C. to the 

1500 A.D. "Economic man" — individualistic, 
materialistic, rationalistic; 
objective knowledge, utilitarian/ 
economic values coming into 

1900 A.D. Human as "beast" — instinctual drives 
predominant, a "creature of evolu- 
tion" whose survival depends on 
competitive adaptation and/or sup- 
pression of base instincts 

1913 A.D. Human as "mechanism" — to be under- 
stood in ways found successful by 
nineteenth-century physics 

1945 A.D. Human as a "goal-directed, adaptive 
learning system" 

Human as "Spirit" — the "philosophia 
perennis" view of man and the 
universe as essentially conscious- 
ness in manifest form 

Most modern in- 
dustrial nations 

Likely inappropriate for 
transition to post- 
industrial era 

Most modern indus- 

An image needing to be 


trial nations 

incorporated into a 



larger synthesis 


Primarily United 

Promoted as providing 


the most appropriate 

basis for man's next 

era, perhaps now itself 


needing to be incorpora- 


ted into larger synthesis 

Image has not yet 

Provides a possible con- 


reached "takeoff 

ceptual basis for inte- 


grating most other images 
of man in an evolutionary 
frame of reference 

Most cultures, in 

Could contribute to 

various degrees of 

needed synthesis of 


"opposing" images as it 
sees apparent opposites 
as differing aspects of 
the same underlying 

Some Formative Images of Man-in-the-Universe 21 

gave them power over their fellow men. As far as we know, this first 
occurred in the Mesopotamian valley about 3500 B.C. 

From their observations of repeated heavenly movements which were 
correlated with times of planting, reaping, etc., a professional priest- 
hood discovered the arts of precise astronomical observation, mathe- 
matical reckoning, and writing. The priestly watchers of the skies had 
become aware of something most remarkable and exciting, completely 
unknown before, namely, the mathematical regularity, precisely 
measurable, of the passages of the moon, the sun, and the five visible 
planets. With that discovery came a completely new conception of the 
universe and of the human place within it. No longer were the 
determinants of the image of one's self in the world to be the animals 
which one hunted or the plants of a lush environment self-renewed 
through death, but an ever-increasing factual knowledge of the natural 
order of the universe. Moreover — and possibly because this new type of 
knowledge could not be extended to the entire community — there 
developed abruptly at this time a clear distinction between governing 
and governed classes. 

Although the ideas and forms of a literate civilization probably took 
root in India and China as early as 2500 B.C. and 1500 B.C. respec- 
tively, their impact on these societies, and hence on the "image of man" 
in relation to the universe, took a very different form from the 
developments west of the Indus Valley. Perhaps as a result of their 
geographical isolation both from each other and the rest of the civilized 
world, they retained undamaged the old Bronze Age image of an 
impersonal principle or power immanent in a universe of forms ever 
disappearing and returning through measured cycles of infinite time. 
According to this image, nothing is to be gained, either for the universe 
or for man, through individual originality and effort. The individual, 
rather, is to play the role into which he has been born — as do the sun 
and the moon, the various plant and animal species, the waters, rocks 
and stars. Also, he should try to order his mind so as to identify its 
consciousness with the inhabiting principle of the whole. In India this 
aspiration came to be symbolized by the mystic seer, Yogi, who above 
all else practiced the discipline of renunciation from the "maya" — 
illusory entrapment — of worldly concern; in China, a different view 
developed with the Confucian symbol of the politically engaged wise sage, 
who seeks to act in accord with the Tao, both inwardly and outwardly.* 

* "The unspoken assumption here seems to be that 'spiritual' is opposed to 'physical' 
and 'material'; and furthermore, to be 'spiritual' means a denial of the flesh, a flight 
from social activities and engagement in social affairs, practice of painful austerities, 
etc. . . . The really revered religious teachers and enlightened masters — Jesus, Buddha, 
etc. . . . were deeply involved in the affairs of the world ... I think that the alleged 
opposition between 'spiritual' and 'material' is a false dichotomy — not the view held by 
those spiritual masters to whom you tacitly refer." — John White (cont. on p. 22) 

22 Changing Images of Man 

Although both India and China are today well into differing modes 
of modernization, and have each at least partially overthrown their 
traditional images of humankind (China apparently more than India), 
these images hold potential relevance for the ethical needs of our 
present culture. Aspects of the image of the sage and Taoistic philoso- 
phy generally could greatly contribute to an "ecological ethic;" the yogi 
image and philosophy of Vendanta could equally contribute to a 
"self-realization ethic," as these are set forth in Chapter 5. Both would 
bring a welcome contrast to the exploitative tendencies of a civilization 
driven by the profit motive. 

The Human as Separate from God and Nature — Early Near-Eastern Views 

From the Near-East came two systems of thought — those of the 
Semites and the Zoroastrians — whose images of man-in-the-universe 
have significantly shaped this culture. 

The first distinguishing characteristic of Semitic mythology, which 
arose after 3000 B.C., was its radical separation of Man from God, the 
first step of a "mythic dissociation" that has perhaps been completed 
only with the full flowering of objective science in modern times. The 
Semitic God was seen as a male Being "out there," an image that closes 
the inward way of mysticism, since what is to be found within oneself is 
not divinity (as in India and the Far East) but only one's "soul," which 
may or may not be found in a proper relationship to God. A proper 
relationship can be achieved only by obedience to God's command- 
ments and membership in God's favored tribe. Not as a free individual, 
but only as a member of the High God's "chosen race" (or church, in 
later versions) is one effectively in God's care. In this view the human 
was seen as a servant, created to serve the One God by having 
dominion over all other forms of earthly creation. 

If all humankind was the servant of the One God, so also, according 
to Semitic mythology, was one race the servant of the others. Genesis, 
chapter 9, recounts the story of Ham, the son of Noah and father of 
Canaan, who because he had seen his father's nakedness and left him 
uncovered was cursed by Noah: 

Cursed by Canaan — a servant of servants shall he be to his brothers. . . . Blessed be the 
Lord God of Shem, and Canaan shall be his servant. God shall enlarge Japheth, and he 
shall dwell in the tents of Shem — and Canaan shall be their servant. (Genesis 9: 25-27) 

(Cont. from p. 21) 

The contrast here is not between "spiritual" and "material" but rather between two 
"ideal types" which have been extensively explored in the past. In the last section of 
Chapter 4 and in Chapter 6 we try to show how these two may be usefully synthesized in 
our own cultural matrix. 

Some Formative Images of Man-in-the-Universe 23 

Traditional interpretation of these scriptures sees the descendants of 
Ham as comprising of black peoples of African nations to the south of 
Egypt. Thus the racist image of peoples of color being the "proper" 
servants of other ironically arose from the mythology of the Jews — one 
of the most persecuted peoples of history. 

Complementing the master/servant aspects of the Semitic image of 
humankind was the notion of "man as the brother of other men" by 
virtue of their common creation; as required and able, by this created 
nature to carry responsibility for each other. 

This image of brotherhood was a key element in the later Christian 
image of persons as "members one of another" — a metaphysical reality 
that will later be elaborated as being an image needing to be revitalized 
rather than scrapped. 

We know next to nothing of the life of Zarathustra (Greek form, 
Zoroaster) whose teachings of the great Lord of Truth and Light, 
Ahura Mazda, mark the beginning of a completely new direction in 
Occidental religion and the associated imagery of humankind. The 
novelty of his teaching lay in its treatment in purely ethical terms of the 
ultimate nature and destiny of both the world and humankind; it attri- 
buted absolute values to the contrary principles of Good and Evil, 
personified as two contending universal gods — Ahura Mazda, "first 
father of the Righteous Order," and Angra Mainyu, the Deceiver, 
Antagonist, and principle of the Lie. In this teaching, time was im- 
agined not as an ever-cycling round (as in most of the conceptions 
before approximately 1200 B.C.), but as a linear trend to victory, which 
was to culminate in a season of prodigious wars and the appearance, 
finally, of a second Savior, Saoshyant, through whom the Lord of the 
Lie and all his works were to be annihilated. The dead were then to be 
resurrected and all would dwell forever in light and truth. 

Another innovation of this doctrine, setting it apart especially from 
neighboring India, is the responsibility it placed on every individual to 
choose of his own free will whether and how to stand for the Truth and 
Light, in thought, word, and deed. Finally, the Zoroastrian view holds 
that engagement in the battle for salvation is the ultimate goal of "man," 
a view diametrically opposed to the Indian image of yogic self-release. 
Judged evil, the world could nevertheless be saved. 

The Knower — Gnostic View 

The influence of the Semitic and the Zoroastrian visions on both 
traditional and contemporary Jewish, Christian, and Islamic thought is 
obvious. It seems clear that both forms of apocalyptic messianism were 
incorporated, if not by Jesus himself, then at least by the Early Church. 

24 Changing Images of Man 

But the Gnostics, whose beliefs appear to have been a synthesis of 
Babylonian, Indian, and Egyptian, as well as Semitic and Zoroastrian 
thought, took another view. Agreeing with the Semitic belief in one 
Eternal and Supreme Being, and the Zoroastrian view of the World 
and its unredeemed citizens as savable, the Gnostics took as central 
"saving" power of gnosis — extraordinary and experientially intimate 
knowledge of the mysteries of existence. 

The import of this view, as contrasted with the view which ultimately 
came to be the "official" one, is portrayed by the Gospel according to 

His disciples said to Him: When will the Kingdom come? Jesus said: It will not come 
by expectation; they will not say: "See there." But the Kingdom of the Father is 
spread upon the earth and men do not see it. 

(Saying 113) 

This tension between the Gnostic understanding of apocalyptic 
symbolism and that of the Early Church which condemned it as 
heretical is the essence of what is sometimes called "the Judeo-Chris- 
tian Problem." Is an apocalyptic Messiah to come (or come again) and 
thus grandly save the elect from evil, or is the "Kingdom of the 
Father" already here within us, within ourselves and our world — as is 
"Buddha-consciousness" and the "Mother Light" — only waiting to be 
recognized and fulfilled? The conundrum was inherited also by Islam, 
and supplied the whole sense of the contention between the Sufis of the 
mystic way and the orthodox Sunna of the law. 

Because the Gnostic path was condemned as heretical, of necessity it 
went underground, and hence its influence on our culture is much less 
visible than are the effects of the orthodox views. It and views like it, 
however, have been kept alive by secret societies such as the Sufis, 
Freemasons, and Rosicrucians, whose influence on the founding of the 
United States is attested to by the symbolism of the Great Seal of the 
United States, on the back of the dollar bill. The Semitic/Zoroas- 
trian/orthodox Christian image meanwhile came into dominance in 
Western Europe. This image of the "human as separate" laid the 
groundwork for the industrial revolution to come. 

The Individual — Greek Views 

The idealized image of the person in the classical phase of Greece 
provided the roots of the later European emphasis on individualism 
and individuality. The Greeks portrayed the Hero as one who acts 

Some Formative Images of Man-in-the-Universe 25 

from a secular sense of duty — not toward others but rather toward 
himself — striving after what we translate as "virtue" but which in 
Greek is arete, excellence. Significantly, Greek theology was formulated 
not by priests or even by prophets, but by artists, poets, and philoso- 
phers. The Greeks were probably the first culture to develop an image 
of the human not primarily as a member of this race of tribe or of 
that, but as an individual being. Furthermore, when the city-state 
emerged fully developed in the later period of Socrates, Plato, and 
Aristotle, laws and ethical rules were sought beyond individualism for 
the regulation of conduct; but it was not to any supernatural authority 
that the Greeks looked, but to nature, and specifically, human nature. 
They saw virtue as a natural property of the person, whose nature was 
not an instinctual one (as with the lower animals), but the perfection of 
divine intelligence (shared with the gods above — gods who were not the 
"creators" of mankind, but themselves, also, children of the mystery of 
creation, having come into the world as its governing powers). Their 
artistic images of humankind were thus naturalistic, as was their 
philosophy, and their politics. 

It is necessary to recognize, however, that the dominant "image of 
man" was for the Greeks, as for so many other slave-based economies, a 
dichotomous one — the image of the citizen differing significantly from 
that of the slave. Thus, although the Greeks had by the second century 
B.C. developed the necessary knowledge to build a powerful science- 
based technology, they did not do so. For in the Greek view the 
acquisition of knowledge was mainly for aesthetic or spiritual enjoy- 
ment of the citizens, there being little motivation to utilize technology 
to make routine labor more efficient. 

While it is commonly believed that science, or what we think of as the 
scientific method, originated in post-medieval Western Europe, this is 
not the case. The scholars of this period, searching for more adequate 
methods of inquiry than those "worn out" by medieval scholasticism, 
turned to translating manuscripts of distant times and places. Only 
when the Greek scientific writings were translated into a culture that 
would support a "technological ethic" (as would fifteenth-century 
Europe with its Semitic roots) did the widespread exploitation of these 
ideas come to fruition. Although the modern scholarship behind this 
finding is somewhat controversial, the delayed application of Greek 
science likely represents an instance where one image of humankind 
had a clear-cut influence on cultural development. We explore this 
phenomenon in Chapter 4 because it provides a suggestive historical 
analogy for the present-day application of Eastern thought in the 
development of a science of consciousness. 

26 Changing Images of Man 

Empire and Christianity — the Roman Catalyst 

In terms of the image of man, the Romans made two lasting 
contributions to the Western heritage. First, they codified the earlier 
Greek notions of law and extended them throughout the known world. 
Indeed, the legal systems of most European nations are still based on 
Roman law. The Greeks saw man as a political animal; to this the 
Romans added the concepts of universal organization and ad- 
ministration. For the first time in Western civilization, the rights of 
citizenship — even Saint Paul of Tarsus boasted, "cives Romanus sum" (I 
am a Roman Citizen) — extended beyond the bounds of a city state, race, 
color, or creed. Thus the Romans' unique contribution was that anyone 
(except, of course, a slave) could aspire to become a member of the 
body politic, which the Romans defined as a set of allegiances, laws, and 

The second Roman contribution to the Western image of man was 
an inadvertent one. It may be too much to assert that the later Roman 
legates left behind them a "legacy" of Christianity — indeed, the mis- 
sionaries sent out by the early popes may have played a greater role. 
The fact remains, however, that the Romans planted the seeds of 
Christianity which were kept alive in the monasteries of Western 
Europe throughout the "Dark Ages." 

The Age of Faith — and Contention 

Following the fall of Rome in the fifth century A.D., there ensued a 
period of intermittent chaos which lasted until about the eleventh 
century when the Roman Catholic Church emerged as the dominant 
force in Western Europe. 

The history of the "Age of Faith" is one of contention between 
competing images of humankind. For example, the classic Judeo- 
Christian view of man as essentially master over nature was overlaid 
with the restrictive notions of the Medieval Church as to the "proper" 
pursuits of man in relation to nature. Similarly, the strivings of the 
Church for political hegemony over the temporal rulers of Western 
Europe clashed with its original spiritual mission and emphasis on the 
all-importance of the life hereafter. 

Even at the height of the Church's power, disruptive forces — spiri- 
tual, intellectual, and socio-economic — were constantly at work. The 
crusades, for example, brought Europeans into contact with more 
advanced economies and created a demand for new goods which were 
met by an ever-expanding merchant class. The discovery, during the 
fifteenth century, of a sea route to India, followed by Columbus' 

Some Formative Images of Man-in-the-Universe 27 

discovery of the New World, opened up vast new possibilities for 
economic expansion and personal enrichment. Thus, despite the 
strictures of the Church, a new notion of "man" as an economic entity 
began to emerge. 

Intellectually and spiritually too, the Western Church was losing 
ground toward the end of the fourteenth century, when the tide began 
to turn against it in its long battle against heresy. Over a century before 
Luther pinned his ninetyfive theses to the church door at Wittenberg, 
in 1519, Wycliffe in England and Huss in Bohemia had already tried to 
bring about a reformation of the Church. At the same time, in the 
universities of Western Europe, Arab astronomy and mathematics, 
transmitted by Jewish scholars, were being studied side by side with 
Aquinas and Saint Augustine. 

Thus, gradually, the strands of secularism were being woven into the 
Medieval fabric of life until by the beginning of the sixteenth century 
we can see them drawing together to form a new pattern from which 
emerged our own society. 

Man Over Things — the New Empire* 

From the warp and woof of new and revived ideas fostered during 
the Renaissance and Reformation came notions of man as the indivi- 
dualist, the empiricist, and the rationalist. These notions gained irresis- 
tible power with the discoveries of Copernicus and Galileo, and brought 
about an essentially new image of man and his role in the universe. 

By the seventeenth century the image of man which emerged from 
scientific studies was that of man as mechanism (Newton). The great 
search for the order permeating the universe was summed up in 
Bacon's phrase "the empire of man over things." The fundamental 
realities were the human being and nature. Nature was regarded as an 
objective reality — apart from the human — observable in every aspect 
and unaffected by either observation or the observer. The primacy of the 
act of measurement meant that new rules predominated for making 
knowledge verifiable and public, and so knowledge became better suited 
to "make ourselves masters and possessors of nature" (Descartes). 

Evolving out of man's changing image of himself and his relation to 
the external environment he sought to control came a new application 
of the old Zoroastrian concept of progress — now offering new hopes 
for human betterment while at the same time explaining and justifying 

In the next few sections the generic term "man" was not changed to "humankind" for 
purposes of contrast and emphasis. 

28 Changing Images of Man 

the materialistic pursuits and excesses of industrial society. In fact, the 
idea of progress become indistinguishable from the idea of science 
itself. As the scientific pursuit became more objective and reduc- 
tionistic, the images of mankind that it has fostered have also become 
more fragmented and out of touch with the mythic forces that the 
pre-scientific ceremonies, rites, and rituals helped man to experience. 

The Human as Beast — the Darwinian, Freudian, and Ethological Views 

In the next chapter we note the more salient characteristics of the 
economic image of human beings that has dominated the industrial era. 
Here, we discuss some of the other specialized images that are im- 
portant today. 

One such image is that of bestial man — man subject most fun- 
damentally to his animal instincts. This image provides a unifying 
theme to the otherwise dissimilar scientific theories of Darwin and 
evolutionary thought, of Freud and psychoanalytic thought, and of 
Lorenz and other leading thinkers on the ethology of aggression. In 
each of these three schools there seem to be almost opposing emphases 
which reveal divergent images of the human being. On the one hand 
(usually dominant) is the image of Nature — human as well as animal — 
"red in fang and claw" — the human as man-beast, predator, and 
aggressor. On the other hand is the image of Nature as symbiotic, 
cooperative, and social — with an image of the human as having both 
aggressive and altruistic traits. 

Darwin emphasized the competitive aspects of natural selection and 
the struggle for survival both in the animal and in the human world. 
Fifty years later the Russian Prince Kropotkin, with equally good 
scientific methodology, emphasized natural solidarity, intrinsic soci- 
ability, and tolerance — among animals as among humans. Similarly 
Freud emphasized the purely instinctual drives and in particular (in his 
later years) the "death instinct" (Thanatos). The neo-Freudians, on the 
other hand, emphasized the ego and man's sociability drives. Lorenz, 
Ardrey et al. have emphasized the "killer instinct" and the "territorial 
imperative." Crook and others, looking at other ethological findings, 
derive evidence for instinctually driven non-aggressive behavior and 
the importance of frustration and socialization in aggressive behavior. 

Here we have an illustration of how one guiding image of man-in- 
the-universe (which includes not only oneself as a human, but the 
physical, social and conceptual world one lives in) to a large extent deter- 
mines one's behavior in the creation of a new "image of man. "To illustrate: 
Darwin comes upon the principle of natural selection and the struggle 

Some Formative Images of Man -in -the -Universe 29 

for survival, not so much from his meticulous observations and collec- 
tions as from reading Malthus' £55031 on Population, and from living 
amidst a society in which laissez-faire economics and the ethics of 
rugged individualism were being championed. (It is noteworthy that 
Darwin's competitor, Alfred Wallace, working independently, also 
happened upon the insight of natural selection-through-struggle 
through reading Malthus; and that the very phrase "survival of the 
fittest," which first appeared in the second edition of Origin of Species, 
was contributed by Herbert Spencer, the philosopher of social evolu- 
tion via laissez-faire economic capitalism and rugged individualism.) 

Prince Kropotkin, on the other hand, was a political and philosophi- 
cal anarchist whose ideology undoubtedly intruded upon his obser- 
vations and interpretations no less than had Darwin's. 

Each of the above opposing image emphases (the human as in- 
trinsically competitive and violent but also as intrinsically altruistic as 
well) are currently appealed to in the formation of social policies: 
witness the debate surrounding Ardrey's The Territorial Imperative 
(1966). The most relevant question to ask with regard to such issues is 
not "which view is most true?" but rather "what are the likely con- 
sequences of acting from one or the other view in active contention?" 
and "can a view be found which creatively synthesizes them into a 
larger conception?" 

The Human as Mechanism — the View of Modern Behaviorism 

Objective psychology became behaviorism in 1913 when John B. 
Watson led a break with the older tradition of introspection, a tradition 
that had brought about little agreement about the nature of con- 
sciousness. More important, from the utilitarian point of view that has 
typified American thought, the introspectionist approach could not 
lead to prediction and control of data as could nineteenth-century 
physics. Thus, for scientific reasons, consciousness came to be thought 
of as a "construct" whose study leads to no fruitful results — a "black 
box" whose unknown mechanisms (which would become known by 
physiology, biochemistry, etc.) should produce behaviors that would be 
regular and predictable if we but study them the right way. 

Instinctivist thought (endless lists of instincts being proposed to 
explain man's behavior) came into scientific disrepute at about this 
same time; hence it was convenient for the behaviorist school to 
incorporate Locke's image of the new born human as a tabula rasa on 
which is written the results of various processes of conditioning. 

The branch of this school of thought which has proved most sue- 

30 Changing Images of Man 

cessful emphasizes the technique of operant conditioning, a term ori- 
ginated by B. F. Skinner to denote a systematic procedure whereby the 
actions of an organism are brought under control by giving it a reward 
if and only if it behaves in a specified manner. This technique has been 
successfully used — in education, psychotherapy, and in prisons to alter 
whole behavior patterns of individuals. 

A rather different approach to understanding (and controlling) 
behavior, also of proven effectiveness, is through the implementation 
of remotely activated electrodes in the brain. 

The "psycho-civilization of society" has been advocated by means of 
various techniques of behavior modification such as operant condition- 
ing (Skinner, 1971), electrocranial stimulation (Delgado, 1969), and 
psychochemical drugs (Clark, 1971). Only if such mentalistic and pre- 
scientific concepts as will, freedom, consciousness, and so forth are cast 
off, Skinner asserts, does man have a chance to attain a truly peaceful, 
rational, and humane society in the future.* Certainly, the techniques 
that have been developed within the view of "man as mechanism" are 
powerful and efficient. They work. Hence if integrated and reconciled 
with other views of man — views which have more adequate ethics and 
metaphysics (both terms that the behavioristic scientist insists are not 
part of his concern) on which to guide their application — this view and 
its products could conceivably be of great benefit to mankind. 

The Human as Person — the View of Humanism and Humanistic Psychology + 

Although its roots go back to Greek thinkers such as Socrates and 
Plato, the tradition known as humanism first flowered during the 
eighteenth-century period of Enlightenment. The central theme of 
humanism has always been the affirmation, perfection, and celebration 
of all that is thought to be uniquely human — especially the reflective 
and expressive qualities of humankind. This is in vivid contrast to the 
repressive qualities of the puritan ethic that so strongly influenced the 
economic image of humankind in industrialized societies. 

More recently, humanism has surfaced in numerous forms, often as 
explicit alternatives to dehumanizing social forms. For example, the 

* "I am just completing a book on Behaviorism in which I answer a number of mistaken 
views about it. I am not sure that I really 'cast off' concepts such as will, freedom, and 
consciousness. I certainly reinterpret the data." — B. F. Skinner 

t This section was written for the 1981 Pergamon Edition in response to Carl Rogers's 
suggestion that by jumping from the Freudian to the behavioristic to the systems 
theory view of man, the original SRI report gives unduly short shrift to humanistic 
psychology. — O. W. Markley 

Some Formative Images of Man-in-the-Universe 31 

American Humanist Association arose in large part in order to offer an 
ethical (and legal) alternative to dogmatic religion, and the Association 
for Humanistic Psychology was created as a deliberate "third force" 
along side of the Freudian and behaviorist schools of thought in 
psychology. Although the leading proponents of modern humanism 
differ in a number of respects, they tend to agree on the importance of 
propositions such as the following, compiled by Klapp (1973, pp. 
279 ff.): 

Man is one species; races and other biological subdivisions are relatively unim- 

If progress exists, it is to be measured by improvement in the life of all mankind. 
Killing one another for national or ideological reasons is not justified. 
A world order representing all mankind should be created as soon as possible. 
Certain weapons and technologies should be prohibited if for no other reason than 
because they threaten the future of man on this earth. 

Every culture and style of life that does not destroy human rights should be 

Customs, taboos, beliefs, and institutions which cramp the development of human 
potential should be reformed or abandoned. 

Social systems which restrict free activity of writers, artists, thinkers, and scientists 
are suspect. 

The standards which govern man should come from man himself and be cut to his 

Concern for the well-being of man in this world should not be obscured by concern for 
the next. 

Much work is dehumanizing and should be changed to make it more satisfactory to 
the worker even at some loss of "efficiency" or profit. 
Many modern cities are unfit for human habitation. 

Many of the activities of the "counter-culture" today are an important part of 
experimentation to find a better life style for man. 

The branch of explicitly humanistic thought currently making the 
most pronounced contributions to a more adequate image of human- 
kind is undoubtedly that which is organizationally led by the Association 
for Humanistic Psychology and its ("fourth force") offspring, the 
Association for Transpersonal Psychology. Both being part of the 
so-called "human potential movement," these organizations tend to put 
more trust in the intuitive wisdom and good will of persons than in the 
formalized theories and rules of organizations, believing that there is 
an innate tendency toward wholesome growth and goodness in all 
persons that will be actualized if not prematurely frustrated by societal 
limitations. Both groups are recently programming many of their 
activities with an explicit focus on the possible evolutionary trans- 
formation of humankind, much as is described in (and partially as a 
result of) this study. Thus, to a large extent their emerging image is 
that described in Chapter 5. 

32 Changing Images of Man 

The Human as Evolving Holon — the View of Modern Systems Theory 

Over the past three decades an amorphous discipline termed "sys- 
tems theory" has arisen — partly as a protest to overly positivistic and 
reductionistic methods in the physical and biological sciences; partly as 
a way to apply to the study of humans such new advances as cyber- 
netics, information and communication theory, and computer-based 
simulation models; and partly as a way to reconcile and integrate 
concepts, laws, and models from different disciplines into a unified 
understanding. For many of its proponents, however, general systems 
theory goes beyond these objectives. It provides an entire world view, 
from which an image of humankind can be inferred. 

In this view, the world (and its many subsystems) is not just a 
collection of analyzable components, but an integrated whole of 
organized complexity, one step beyond the Newtonian view of 
organized simplicity, and two steps beyond the classical world view of 
divinely ordered or imaginatively envisaged complexity. 

Although the concept of a general systems theory (Chapter 4) is by 
no means uncritically accepted in the scientific community, it neverthe- 
less seems useful here to examine two ideas stemming from this 
approach because they have important implications in terms of the 
"images of man." These are (1) that all natural systems are open, not 
closed (that is, proper understanding of system function can only be 
obtained by making reference to interactions with other systems out- 
side of the boundaries of the given system under study; (2) that all 
natural systems have a hierarchical structure (that is, the system is made 
up to coordinated "subsystems," and the system itself is part of, or 
coordinated by, other higher level "supersystems").* The term "holon" 
(from the Greek holos — whole — with the suffix on suggesting a part) has 
been used to incorporate these system properties^ By using ideas such 
as these, the systems approach allows study of the seemingly purposive 
aspects of living organisms without making recourse to vitalistic or 
mystical ideas. 

The person is a special case in systems thinking because of his 
self-conscious awareness and use of symbolic-conceptual systems to 
guide his behavior; he is a goal-directed, "adaptive" learning system or 

* The anthropologist and systems theorist Magoroh Maruyama has recently criticized the 
hierarchical tendency of general systems thinking as being an unnecessary and unthink- 
ing application of the dominant Western image of man — preferring what he calls a 
"mutualistic paradigm." — O. W. Markley 

t See further description of this concept in Chapter 4. 

Some Formative Images of Man -in -the -Universe 33 

"holon." The properties of general systems seem to apply even to 
man's conceptual activity. That is, owing to his social nature, his 
concepts must include the concepts held by others; and they must be 
"Janus-faced," incorporating more specialized concepts, just as they 
themselves are incorporated by more generalized ones.* 

The systems view thus attempts to incorporate the more specialized 
images of man (as mechanism, as beast, as mystic, etc.) and emphasizes 
how these different aspects fit together holistically to make the human 
being a complex, goal-oriented learning system. It also has recently 
been integrated with evolutionary theory to show how conceptual 
reformulations can take place which coordinated previously existing 
ideas at a higher level of order and complexity. 

Thus these ideas have immediate relevance for a future image of 
humankind that could be more adequate than the industrial/economic 
image. 1 

The Human as Spirit — the View of the Perennial Philosophy 

Although most of the views of man we have surveyed have come into 
being during a particular era, often borrowing and adapting views of 
other cultures, there is one view that has remained surprisingly un- 
changed since it was first formulated in the Vedic era of India, about 
1500 B.C. Although this view has always remained somewhat under- 
ground in most cultures, it has been visible, in almost unchanged form, 
as an identifiable image of humankind in so many times and places that 
Huxley has termed it the "Perennial Philosophy": 

Philosophic Perennis — the phrase was coined by Leibniz; but the thing — the 
metaphysic that recognizes a divine Reality substantial to the world of things and 
lives and minds; the psychology that finds in the soul something similar to, or even 
identical with, divine Reality; the ethic that places man's final end in the knowledge 
of the immanent and transcendent Ground of all being — the thing is immemorial 
and universal. Rudiments of the Perennial Philosophy may be found among the 
traditional lore of primitive peoples in every region of the world, and in its fully 
developed forms it has a place in every one of the higher religions. A version of this 
Highest Common Factor in all preceding and subsequent theologies was first 
committed to writing more than twenty-five centuries ago, and since that time the 
inexhaustible theme has been treated again and again, from the standpoint of every 
religious tradition and in all the principle languages of Asia and Europe. (Huxley, 
1945, p. iv) 

* Appendix B represents comments by Sir Geoffrey Vickers on information systems and 

social ethics — comments very pertinent here and in later sections of this report. 
t See Note A, p. 40. 

34 Changing Images of Man 

The central characteristics of this view may be summarized as fol- 

1. Those who most seem to be living it have always insisted that it is 
not a philosophy or a metaphysic, not an ideology or a religious belief, 
although onlookers have typically considered it so. Rather it is an 
experience that is attested to, often in paradoxical form, because the 
experience is said to be one of oneness, such that it resolves the 
polarities of time and space, yet the reporter must tell of the 
experience in terms of time and space. 

Behold but One in all things. (Kabir) 

An invisible and subtle essence in the Spirit of the whole universe. That is Reality. 
That is Truth. Thou are that. (Upanishads) 

True words always seem paradoxical but no other form of teaching can take their 
place. (Lao-Tse) 

2. The basic nature of the universe is consciousness, and the human 
individual can participate in this "cosmic" consciousness. This is the 
Ground of Being. For the human it is a "superconscious" or divine aspect 
of one's being, and one's physical nature is a manifestation of universal 

3. Although the human can experience or participate in this cosmic 
consciousness, he or she usually chooses not to, going through life in a sort 
of hypnotic sleep, feeling that he is making decisions, having accidents 
occur to her, etc. If he begins to "wake up" and see more clearly, 
however, he becomes aware of the direction of the higher Self in this 

4. Human potentiality is limitless. All knowledge, power and aware- 
ness are ultimately accessible to one's consciousness. 

5. As a person becomes aware of this basic nature of reality, he or she is 
motivated toward development, creativity, and movement toward that 
"higher Self," and becomes increasingly directed by this higher con- 
sciousness. What is called "inspiration" or "creativity" is essentially a 
breaking through to ordinary awareness of these higher processes. 

When it breathes through his intellect, it is genius; when it breathes through his will, 
it is virtue; when it flows through his affection, it is love. (Ralph Waldo Emerson, 
"The Oversoul") 

6. Evolution occurs, physical and mental, and is directed by a higher 
consciousness and is characterized by purpose. As humankind increases 
its level of consciousness, it participates more fully in this evolutionary 

Some Formative Images of Man-in-the-Universe 35 

R. M. Bucke (1901) has defined cosmic consciousness in detail: 

The prime characteristic of cosmic consciousness is, as its name implies, a con- 
sciousness of the cosmos, that is, of the life and order of the universe. . . . Along with 
the consciousness of the cosmos there occurs an intellectual enlightenment or 
illumination which alone would place the individual on a new plane of existence — 
would make him almost a member of a new species. To this is added a state of moral 
exaltation, and indescribable feeling of elevation, elation, and joyousness, and a 
quickening of the moral sense, which is fully striking and more important to the 
individual and to the race than is the enhanced intellectual power. With these come 
what may be called a sense of immortality, a consciousness of eternal life, not 
conviction that he shall have this, but the consciousness that he has it already. 

This view of man, if it can be experienced by more than the small 
minority of persons who have apparently realized it through the 
centuries, would seem to provide the needed sense of direction and the 
holistic perception and understanding described which the following 
chapters show to be needed.* 

"The American Creed" 

We conclude this highly selective survey of important images of 
humankind by inquiring what image or images were most important in 
the formation of the United States. In his classic study of black-white 
relations in the United States, An American Dilemma, the Swedish social 
scientist Gunnar Myrdal (1945) was struck particularly by the near- 
unanimous national endorsement of a coherent body of beliefs and 
values, an image of humankind whose characteristics he termed "the 
American Creed." 

America, compared to every other country in Western Civilization, large or small, 
has the most explicitly expressed system of general ideals in reference to human 
interrelations. This body of ideals is more widely understood and appreciated than 
similar ideals are anywhere else. (p. 3, emphasis in original) 

The basic character and pervasive application of the "American 
Creed" were spelled out by Myrdal in one sweeping paragraph: 

These ideas of the essential dignity of the individual human being of the fundamental 
equality of all men, and of certain inalienable rights to freedom, justice, and a fair 
opportunity represent to the American people the essential meaning of the nation's 
early struggle for independence. In the clarity and intellectual boldness of the 
Enlightenment period these tenets were written into the Declaration of Independence, 

* See Note B, p. 41. 

36 Changing Images of Man 

the Preamble of the Constitution, the Bill of Rights and into the constitutions of the 
several states. The ideals of the American Creed have thus become the highest law of the 
land. The Supreme Court pays its reverence to these general principles when it declares 
what is constitutional and what is not. They have been elaborated upon by all national 
leaders, thinkers and statesmen. America has had, throughout its history, a continuous 
discussion of the principles and implications of democracy, a discussion which, in every 
epoch, measured by any standard, remained high, not only quantitatively but 
qualitatively. The flow of learned treatises and popular tracts on the subject has not 
ebbed, nor is it likely to do so. In all wars, including the present one, the American 
Creed has been the ideological foundation of national morale, (pp. 4-5) 

The keynote of the American Creed would seem to be that of 
emancipation — not just the emancipation of a people from the bon- 
dage of tyranny and poverty, but the emancipation of humankind from 
the bondage of history and heredity. 

This creed was not born of a single image of the human being but, 
like so many events in the real world, was the result of a vast com- 
promise. One view was that enunciated over time by Thrasymachus, 
Machiavelli, Hobbes, and Hamilton — a pessimistic view that saw man as 
essentially irrational and irresponsible, subject to blind instinctual or 
environmental forces, whose life was "solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and 
short," and who would live "in an implicit state of war of all against all" 
until he unequivocally surrendered his dreadful freedom to the sovereign 
of an authoritarian state. A contrasting, and eventually dominant, view 
was that enunciated by Socrates, Cicero, More, Erasmus, Locke, Rous- 
seau, and Jefferson — who stressed the faculties of reason and purpose, 
the moral attributes of dignity and responsibility, and the existence of 
sovereign individual rights flowing from these qualities. 

These contending views continue to press for supremacy in Ameri- 
can public policy, the system of checks and balances being designed to 
prevent excesses on either side. This solution represented perhaps the 
first pluralistic image of man as in active confrontation with an explicit 
assumption of equality between contending images (as contrasted with 
the pluralistic images of man in India where detachment from active 
confrontation was the ideal). It defied the great tradition which had 
assumed that the regulation of conflicting interests and the capacity of 
interpreting the general will must lie either with an enlightened despot 
or with an enlightened elite. Although this grand experiment has not 
been without its moments of difficulty (and indeed, as this study 
attempts to show, we are likely now to be in the midst of this tradition's 
greatest challenge), nevertheless: 

.... taking the broad historical view, the American Creed has triumphed. It has 
given the main direction to change in this country. America has had gifted con- 
servative statesmen and national leaders, and they have often determined the course 
of public affairs. But with few exceptions, only the liberals have gone down in history 

Some Formative Images of Man-in-the-Universe 37 

as national heroes. America is . . . conservative in fundamental principles, and in 
much more than that . . . But the principles conserved are liberal and some, indeed, are 
radical. (Myrdal, 1945, p. 7, emphasis in original) 


By identifying a number of underlying issues and dimensions along 
which the various images that have dominated human history have 
differed, we not only can better portray the dominant image of 
humankind in our society, but we can contrast that image with the 
images of other cultures. This may prove of vital importance in the 
coming "spaceship earth" era, for not only will various dissimilar 
cultures have to coexist more interactively, but there is an increased 
possibility for a creative synthesis of differences — to the extent that 
these differences are highlighted in an appropriate context. 

Free Will. Does the human have free will, or are his actions (includ- 
ing his choices) determined by various internal or external forces? 
Many, if not most, of the ancient images saw man as determined by 
magical, divine, or naturalistic forces, a theme that has returned via 
biological and behavioral science. Most modern images of man, 
however, see him as free, restrained only by the natural law of the 
universe and those arbitrary laws he has constructed for his own 

Good versus Evil. Is human nature essentially good or evil? Or is the 
human neither, being shaped for good or ill by his choices or by his 
environment? Although many cultures have not dealt with this issue, it 
was made explicit in the Near East and has significantly affected the 
development of Western culture, having become an essential part of 
the Judeo-Islamic-Christian tradition. Most Western images of 
humankind can therefore be clearly evaluated with respect to this 

Man and Nature. Is the human a competitor in a ruthless natural 
world, or is he an agent in a harmoniously balanced natural world? Or 
is he separate from and superior to nature, which he is to dominate for 
his own ends? Most cultures have assumed that the human being was 
intrinsically part of nature. The Semitic tradition was thus unique in 
setting him apart from nature. It was this tradition that has exerted the 
strongest influence on Western images of humankind and, indeed, may 
have been a necessary condition for the development of applied science 
as we know it today. 

38 Changing Images of Man 

Mind versus Matter. Are we essentially mind, consciousness, spirit? Or 
are we composed of physical matter alone, a construction in whom life 
and thought is but a characteristic of the state of organization of the 
material? Most cultures have seen the human as essentially spiritual; 
only with the rise of objective science has the materialistic emphasis 

Mortal versus Immortal. Some images have death as the end of in- 
dividual existence and experience. Others hold that the person has a 
soul or spirit which continues to exist consciously after physical death, 
either by reincarnation into another body or by moving onto some 
other non-material plane of existence. Virtually all images of man see 
him as somehow surviving physical death. 

Divinity of Human Beings. Are the divine and the human essentially 
distinct, or is God the human's experience of universal reality at a 
profound level? This is the issue which most clearly separates the 
images of the mystical core of most "high" religions from the images 
popularized in their traditional teachings. 

Individual versus Society* Is the individual important for his own 
sake, or is he important primarily as a member of the group? Similarly, 
is he valued for his intrinsic uniqueness, or for his extrinsic qualities 
and skills? The images of man in most ancient and modern cultures 
have emphasized him as a member of a society and have valued him 
for his extrinsic qualities. Only in the history of Greek and European 
culture have individualism and individuality come to be valued. And 
only in the French and American Revolutions did individual identity 
come to be idealized as the source of the equal worth of persons. 

Progress. Is there a positive future toward which man and society are 
moving? Or is the notion of progress absent, replaced by an image of 
the essential unchangeability of the world? Although the idea of linear 
progress appears to have originated with Zoroaster and from thence to 
have influenced Western thought generally, the notion of the continu- 
ing rise and fall on a human and cosmic scale predominates in other 
cultures, finding its most notable expression in the Vedas of India. 

Morality, Ethics, and Regulation. On what kind of ethical principles 
should human behavior be based? Naked power? Divine revelation? 
Traditional myths? Democratic agreements? Although the ethical 
aspects of various images of humankind have been based on all of 

* "This should be a trichotomy rather than a dichotomy — individual versus institution 
versus society." — Michael Marien 

Some Formative Images of Man -in -the -Universe 39 

these, there does seem to be an evolutionary ordering that takes place 
both in individuals and across cultures at differing states of develop- 
ment. This idea is explored further in Chapters 6 and 7. 

Table 4 represents our estimate of the "center of gravity" or "main- 
stream" image dominant in the United States today. We offer this 
estimate not with any illusion that it is very accurate or that it is likely to 
please the holder of any particular image, but rather to get a sense of 
the dominant image of man held in the United States today which our 
future image of man will certainly have to incorporate if widespread 
chaos and disruption during a transition period are to be minimized.* 

Table 4 



Has freedom. The person is conscious and rational, having freedom of choice con- 
trolled only by natural law and social constraints. 

Is good. People are basically good and have good intentions; there are some exceptions 
but these stem from an unfortunate situation in life; as unfortunate situations increase, it 
is reasonable to trust others less. 

Separate from nature. The person is superior to nature. Nature is to serve him, in 
accordance with the designs that humans apply by means of technology. The human is 
the highest being (either of creation or evolution) and therefore has a right to dominate 

Material and mortal. The person is a physical being, composed of living matter. He has 
a body and a mind that are related, yet separate. Material concerns count for more than 
mental or spiritual ones. Existence may well continue after death, but we should not 
behave as if that were true. 

Not divine. Although the highest being in creation, the human is not in any way the 
same as God; reported mystic experiences or relations with higher spiritual entities are 
viewed with suspicion or alarm. 

Individualistic. Except in times of war or other national emergencies, the person has a 
right to individualistic pursuits but with some social obligations. The meaning of life is to 
be found in individual fulfillment, which includes one's family and children who 
represent one's own progress through time. 

Pro-progress. Material progress is important; the individual's purpose is to be produc- 
tive, to change the world for his benefit and in so doing, to learn more about himself and 
the world. Whether this progress does or should apply to man's nature, however, is much 
less clear. 

Ethically individualist and pragmatic. Although there is a continuing concern for ethical 
progress and fulfillment of the highest ideals of the culture, "right" (in practical terms) is 
that which works to the advantage of the individual. 

See Note C, p. 41. 

40 Changing Images of Man 

Precisely how the American Creed has fared since Myrdal's (1945) 
observations is difficult for us to see and hence say, living as we are in the 
midst of the forces for reformation and counter-reformation. 

Public polls in which the principles of the U.S. Constitution and the 
Bill of Rights were translated into attitude questions have repeatedly 
drawn such responses as "too liberal," "too much individual freedom." 
Yet movements like labor unionism in the early 1900s, civil rights (for 
minorities) in the 1960s, and women's liberation in the present decade 
typify the repeated emergence of collective attempts to make the 
American Creed more operational. Whether some sort of scientistic 
"psycho-civilization" of our society, or some sort of totalitarian control, 
or some new understanding of how democratic principles can function 
adequately will emerge in the years ahead — years that will likely bring 
increasingly severe challenges to our present system — is unclear. What 
does seem clear is that our nation is facing a crucial existential 
choice* — whether the American Creed is to remain viable during even 
the next 25 years. The image of humankind that develops is a fun- 
damental part of that choice. f 


Note A 

"General systems theory purports to offer an entire world view; unfortunately, the 
Society for General Systems Research (SGSR) is a hundred or so individuals each offering 
their world view, without any interest or mechanism for synthesis. 

"The 1954 data for modern transdisciplinary science [given in Table 2] is none other 
than the founding date of SGSR. Well, see my comments below. In any event, I am 
surprised that you have no speculation as to the possible periods of the future. A good 
candidate for this would be the 'Methodology of Pattern' proposed by Julius Stulman in 
Fields Within Fields, 5:1 (1972), which goes well beyond the linear scientist found in 
general systems thinking. Or see Oliver Reiser, Cosmic Humanism (Schenkman, 1966). 

"Natural systems are open, but man-made systems (physical and social) are not 
necessarily so, despite well-intentioned but naive attempts to impose biological metaphors 
on them. Most people in general systems theory — including von Bertalanffy and Laszlo — 
do not have an adequate understanding of social systems. Contrast their simplistic 
attempts to impose uniformity with the work of Bertram M. Gross, e.g. The State of the 
Nation: Social Systems Accounting (available separately or as monograph in Bauer's Social 
Indicator, MIT, 1966). 

"Your acceptance of the mindless conventional wisdom of general systems theory 
reinforces my contention that you are neglecting an entire scientific culture — another 
state of consciousness — social sciences, managerial sciences, decision sciences, policy 
sciences, or whatever." — Michael Marien 

* The difficulty with the 'Our nation is facing — ' rhetoric is that 95% of the nation is not 

aware of this choice — or is it 99%?" — Michael Marien 
f See Note D, p. 41. 

Some Formative Images of Man-in-the-Universe 41 

Note B 

"Two important additional characteristics of this philosophy need to be emphasized: 
"(1) It is based, not on observation of external events, but on inner experiences, on 
observations of inner events, events taking place in consciousness. Thus it is based on 
direct preception and observation, just as is physical science, and in the same way, these 
observations and preceptions are subject to different interpretations. However, the 
perennial philosophy so-called, is essentially a distillation of the observations of thous- 
ands of gifted observers throughout the ages. 

"2. The teaching that man is a microcosmic replica of the macrocosmic creation of God. 
Hermetic philosophy summarized this in the saying — 'as above, so below.' The Vedanta in 
the expression — 'Thou are that.' Jesus in the saying — 'The Kingdom of Heaven is within 
you.' The conclusion is that by observing energy-events in consciousness, within the 
nature, one can attain to an understanding equal to or greater than that which can be 
gained by external observations — which from this point of view, look at surface mani- 
festations only." — Ralph Metzner 


"[Here you have] a lost opportunity: You failed to consider images of woman, or to 
put it differently, you failed to consider the image of man, as contrasted with woman. [For 
example], the Association for Humanistic Psychology and its sympathizers suffer from 
being designated an 'effeminate' organization. We are soft instead of hard, tender 
instead of tough, cooperative instead of competitive, intuitive instead of cognitive, 
concerned with process instead of analysis, expressive rather than instrumental, etc. 

"The problem is not that our society fails to acknowledge the more humane ideals, but 
rather that it feminizes and domesticates these ideals and consigns them to home, church, 
school, and suburb. In the meantime men fight all the more ferociously in order to 
protect with their 'realism' this 'sweet idealism.' In Nixon's famous 'I see a child' speech, 
he adds: 

I see a gentle Quaker mother, with a passionate concern for peace, quietly weeping 
when he went to war, but understood why he had to go. . . . 

"You see, weeping and passion and peace and understanding are all for women. In fact 
it is the function of Nixon's mother and other women to provide sufficient emotional 
support so that he can 'make it' in a political, commercial, legal, and international jungle, 
from which feminized ideals have been excluded. 

"Actually both 'male' and 'female' images suffer through this 'schizogenesis.' 
Cooperation and passion are trivialized and sentimentalized by restricting them to the 
nuclear family and the garden suburb. In the meantime the worlds of politics and 
commerce grow brutal for lack of (falsely feminized) virtues." — Charles Hampden- 

Note D 

"The idea of man as a student of life, or a seeker of wisdom, is one that has the greatest 
relevance to the transitions of society that we are involved in. The contemporary 
American ideal, while it has a place for the role of student, tends to think of it as 
temporary. By contrast the Perennial Philosophy thinks of man as always a student of 
life, or of Tao, or of Reality, or of the 'Actual Design' as we call it in Actualism. Laotse, 
one of the greatest of the Chinese sages, said 'The wise man seventy years of age, in tune 
with Tao, does not hesitate to ask a child of seven and learn from it.' 

"The seeker, or student of life, seeks to gain insight and understanding by (1) 
exploring his own consciousness and (2) studying man as a microcosmic creation. He may 
also, under certain circumstances, study in a school, often referred to in ancient times as a 
'Mystery School,' or with a teacher or guide. In such a school he does not study academic 

42 Changing Images of Man 

subjects; rather he studies himself, in order to expand his awareness, sensitize his 
perception, and enhance the capability for expressing his creative self in action. 

"The idea of man as a student of life also suggests a remedy for some of the 
deficiencies produced by our ideas of happiness as being equivalent to economic 
production and consumption. Then we have the degrading spectacle of men and women 
in their fifties and sixties, no longer economic producers, being left to vegetate in 
retirement communities. By contrast, there existed in India, until not too long ago, the 
concept of the householder, who after discharging his obligations to society and family, 
having raised his children to adulthood, retired from his business or profession and 
entered a meditation training center or ashram, or worked with a guru, to devote the rest 
of his life to the study of consciousness and self-understanding. 

"Based on this concept one can envision older people revitalizing their life-goals and 
attitudes into a spiritually oriented, creative new direction, that would allow the tradi- 
tional 'wisdom of old age' to be re-integrated into the communal life in a constructive 

"The image of man as a seeker or student of life fills all the characteristics of an 
adequate future image, as postulated in Chapter 5. It emphasizes the cooperative 
approach to nature and to other human beings rather than the competitive, exploitative, 
thus the ecological perspective. And it focuses human potential, thus the evolutionary 
perspective. And it undercuts the arrogance of dogmatism, whether scientific or reli- 
gious, which shuts off awareness of the aspects of life outside the current theories and 
belief systems." — Ralph Metzner 

"The way I look at it, there's a price tag 

on everything. You want a high standard of living, 

you settle for a low quality of life." 

Reproduced by permission of J. B. Handelsman. 



Economic Man: Servant to Industrial Metaphors 

The imperatives of technology and organization, not the images of ideology, are 
what determine the shape of economic society. ... I am led to the conclusion that we 
are the servants in thought, as in action, of the machines we have created to serve us. 

J. K. Galbraith (1967) 

Technology . . . has become the prime source of material change and so determines 
the pattern of the total social fabric. 

R. J. Forbes (1968) 

The above quotations reflect a prevailing sense that technological and 
economic developments have had a dominant influence upon the 
pattern of our total societal fabric. Indeed, industrialism is one of the 
most potent and widely spread cultural/societal systems in human 
history. In America, no modern institution has escaped its influence: 
the school, the family, the community and city, the church, all have 
been influenced by this primary driving force of the modern era 
(Miller and Form, 1967). Thus, the industrial revolution in modern 
times refers to more than machines and markets; it refers also to the 
people and institutions locked into a network of relationships 
dominated by economic and technological forces. The pervasiveness of 
economic forces suggests that we cannot anticipate the images of 
humankind that might emerge without giving consideration to the tugs 
and pulls of economic and technological influences. 


The social effects of the Industrial Revolution markedly transformed 
the lives and actions of individuals in Europe, especially by the mid- 
nineteenth century. For example, the emergence of the concept of 
"factors of production" (land, labor, and capital) had revolutionary 
implications for the Western image of humankind. Humans (the labor 
component) were no longer a part of the organic whole of society; 
rather, the person, the laborer, became an objectified and standardized 


46 Changing Images of Man 

component of the production process. The tendency to see people as 
mere units in the production process, bought in an impersonal market- 
place and forced to submit to the dictates of the factory in order to 
survive, was reinforced by the post-mercantilist socio-economic 
ideology of laissez-faire, which discouraged government intervention in 
economic activities. The image inherent in this setting could reasonably 
be described as "economic man": 

• rationalistic (able to calculate what was in his own self-interest), 

• mechanistic (a factor of production), 

• individualistic (with great responsibility to take care of himself), 

• materialistic (with economic forces acting as primary if not exclusive reward and 
control mechanisms). 

In addition to the changes in economic structure that laid the 
groundwork for a market economy and factory-dominated society, we 
also can identify some of the basic value premises that emerged during 
the period of the Renaissance. This is important since many elements 
of the dominant images of humankind currently held by our society 
have their origins in the Renaissance and its aftermath, and can be 
inferred from the value premises of that era. These value premises are 
discussed briefly below. 

Rationalism. Reason was elevated to a pinnacle in the eighteenth- 
century Age of Enlightenment: "Reason would discover the natural 
laws regulating existence, thereby insuring the progress of the human 
race" (Brinton et al., 1955, p. 47). A number of threads formed the 
intellectual fabric of rationalism. First, there was the rejection of 
revelation as a source of truth. Truth was no longer something that was 
found through a religious intermediary and divine revelation; rather, 
truth was discoverable through empirical observation of the world. 
Second, there developed an invidious distinction between reason and 
emotion. The rational mode of perception became dominant since that 
was the mode most useful in dealing with a physical world. "The way 
was paved for the increasing preoccupation in modern times with 
phenomena that were susceptible to mathematical and mechanical 
treatment, and for the increasing suppression of non-mechanical and 
so-called 'irrational experience'" (May, 1966, p. 59). This suppression 
of the non-mechanical went hand-in-hand with the industrializing 
process, for that which could be calculated and measured had practical 
utility in the industrial world and what was irrational did not. 

Individualism. In earlier societies, humans perceived themselves as 
inseparable components of the seamless web of being which extended 

Economic Man: Servant to Industrial Metaphors 47 

throughout their natural and social environments (Lovejoy, 1939). For 

To the Greek, the city-state was not merely a legal structure; it was a way of life. 
Every aspect of daily existence was intimately connected with it. The individual 
derived his importance from his relation to the state; he was viewed as a citizen who 
depends on the state and who can contribute to its welfare. But it is the state that is 

(Rima, 1967, p. 4) 

Man also had a collectivist image of the person during the Middle 
Ages: "Each citizen, serf or priest or knight, knew his place in the 
hierarchy of church and feudalism; and all emotions were channeled in 
community and religious ceremonies" (May, 1966, p. 57). With the 
Renaissance and Reformation came a new belief in the power and 
dignity of the individual. There arose a new confidence that a person 
could overcome problems and forge a life by his or her own efforts and 
by following the promptings of one's own conscience. 

Secular Progress. As the emphasis shifted from collectivism to in- 
dividualism, so the focus of attention to life on earth and attainments in 
the here and now, rather than rewards in life hereafter. People came to 
see their future in an optimistic perspective. No longer was happiness 
something to be gained in an afterlife — happiness could be found in 
this life. This optimism was grounded in a faith that the future would 
prove to be congenial or at least neutral to the strivings of the 
individual (Heilbroner, 1959, p. 27). This corresponded with a faith in 
the power of science. 

Natural Law. There developed a belief in a pre-established harmony 
in the universe, a natural law of existence. In its economic, form, this 
was the belief that if every person pursued their own self-interest for 
material gain, then the well-being of society as a whole would be 

Man as Master*. Man came to think of himself as uniquely apart 
from nature so that it was his destiny to master the natural environ- 
ment. The roots of this concept of man's relationship to his environ- 
ment can be traced, in part, to Judeo-Christian traditions. "Especially 
in its Western form, Christianity is the most anthropocentric religion 
the world has seen. Christianity . . . not only established a dualism of 

* For purposes of emphasis, the generic term "man" was not changed to "humankind' 
as in other sections. 

48 Changing Images of Man 

man and nature but also insisted that it is God's will that man exploit 
nature for his proper ends" (White, 1967, p. 1205). With the industrial 
period came the convergence of operational images of man and tech- 
nological means whereby man could master his environment. 

Materialism. In this period, the satisfaction of the individual's 
material wants became not only a necessary activity but a desirable one 
as well. Where, in the past, the acquisition of wealth had been disdain- 
fully regarded, at least theoretically, it now was strongly favored. 
Calvinism, as it came to be applied, suggested that one's life here on 
earth might hint at one's ultimate destination in the afterlife — to be 
"called" to one's work and be diligent in worldly endeavors while 
maintaining a spirit of rectitude was outward evidence of dedication to 
a religious life. Thus, "the energetic merchant was, in Calvinist eyes, a 
Godly man, not an ungodly one; and from this identification of work 
with worth, it was not long before the notion grew up that the more 
successful a man, the more worthy he was" (Heilbroner, 1968, p. 60). 
Although the role of the "Protestant Ethic" in the industrializing 
process should not be overly emphasized, "it is striking that without 
exception it was the Protestant countries with their 'Puritan streak' of 
work and thrift which forged ahead in the economic race" (Heilbroner, 

The compatibility among these value premises is striking and it is 
suggestive of the extent to which these premises collectively formed an 
image of man as possessor of a tremendous dynamism for altering the 
conditions of human existence. This is well summarized by Woodruff 
(1966) who examines the impact of European ideas upon the world and 

No civilization prior to the European had occasion to believe in the systematic 
material progress of the whole human race; no civilization placed such stress upon 
the quantity rather than the quality of life; no civilization drove itself so relentlessly 
to an ever-receding goal; no civilization was so passion-charged to replace what is 
with what could be; no civilization had striven as the West has done to direct the 
world according to its will; no civilization has known so few moments of peace and 
tranquility, (p. 16) 

Although these value premises did not specify the exact form of society 
that would evolve, they did articulate the ground rules, so to speak, 
from which it would emerge. And in this function they formed a 
resilient, potent, and enduring base for the advent of the modern 
industrial era. But as the industrial system gives way to its socio- 
economic successor, so should the images of humankind, the values, 
and the conceptual milieu yield to the offspring they have helped 

Economic Man: Servant to Industrial Metaphors 



Our society seems to have reached that point in American history 
where our dominant image of economic man no longer fits the physical 
reality. Until recently, the basic value premises of individualism, secular 
progress, materialism, and so on, have been commonplace in American 
society and gave support to societal change in the form of the industrial 
system. Further, these image components, growing out of the Renais- 
sance, were sufficiently embracing in their interpretation and flexible in 
their adaptation to encompass a wide range of societal changes without 
themselves fundamentally changing — for example, theoretical notions 
of the essential equality of all humankind, which have only very 
recently, and still not fully, been incorporated into society as a practical 
reality. But in the process of historical evolution, merely a slight 
difference in rates of change can eventually create a significant dis- 
parity between images and societal experience. This "lead-lag" 
phenomenon — shown in its general version earlier as Fig. 1 and related 
specifically to the economic image of man in Fig. 8 — takes on added 

Living environment 

/ /Gap with 

Gap with 
image leading 

' x Economic 

image of man 



Transition Post- 

( present) industrial 


Fig. 8. Hypothesized interaction between the economic man and society.* 

"You have made superb use of Polak, and your diagrams have added significantly to 
his own conceptualizations of the process and ingredients of image change." — Elise 

"This diagram is too simplistic." — Margaret Mead 

50 Changing Images of Man 

significance when applied to the particular historical period since the 
Industrial Revolution. 

In Fig. 8, a portrayal of this period, the economic image is at first 
anticipatory; in other words, it is operating as a set of "ground rules" 
providing direction to societal change as industrialism emerges. The 
gentle slope of image change in the later portions of the industrial 
period suggests that the economic image continues to change, but in a 
slow evolutionary way as it is articulated to a degree through inter- 
action with the changing living environment. Also during this stage, the 
living environment is gradually, and then with increasing momentum, 
being altered so as to conform with the rationale of the anticipatory, 
economic image of man. Then follows a "short" period of relative 
congruence or match between this image and the living environment. 
The period of congruence does not last for long since the economic 
image of man, which has become firmly embedded in the whole societal 
framework, provides a base for further changes in the living environ- 
ment. Among these changes are increasing urbanization, increasing 
material abundance, growing energy utilization, and expanding trans- 
portation and communication networks. Changes in this living 
environment then proceed rapidly in accord with an internal dynamic 
that can "overshoot" the image base from which the initial momentum 
derived. In this later phase, the economic image of man must increas- 
ingly adapt itself to the realities of the altered living environment if it is 
to be a supportive image. However, such change in the underlying 
image of man is difficult to secure since the image is so basic to the 
society's "world view" that it changes only very slowly and with great 
effort; thus, the image increasingly lags behind societal changes and a 
gap or mismatch grows. When this mismatch between the image and 
the realities of the environment becomes too great, there is societal 
disruption — arising from a severe loss of meaning, purpose, and direc- 
tion. This, in turn, sets the stage for basic readjustment between the 
image of humankind and the societal context.* 

The Poverty of Our Abundance 

There are two useful ways of assessing whether the foregoing analy- 
sis is relevant to changing images in our era. First, we can note that the 
economic image was born at a time when scarcity and abject poverty 
were facts of life. The question emerges, are they still such dominant 
facts of life that the image retains appropriateness for organizing our 

Readers may want to refer back to Table 2 (page 6) for additional illustrations of 

Economic Man: Servant to Industrial Metaphors 51 

collective and individual behavior? Second, we can note the operational 
value premises that accrue from this image — premises that are inferred 
from the way in which people behave rather than what they say. These 
premises, in turn, can be related to the present societal environment 
and their continued appropriateness for organizing and directing our 
behavior can be evaluated. These points are discussed below. 

John Maynard Keynes (1930) anticipated the profound disorientation 
and loss of meaning that might occur when a society achieved a 
condition of relative affluence but continued to deal with it as if there 
were continuing scarcity. 

The economic problem, the struggle for subsistence, always has been hitherto the 

primary, most pressing problem of the human race Thus we have been 

expressly evolved by nature — with all our impulses and deepest instincts — for the 
purpose of solving the economic problem. If the economic problem is solved, 
humankind will be deprived of its traditional purpose. Thus for the first time since 
his creation man will be faced with his real, his permanent problem — how to use his 
freedom from pressing economic cares. . . . There is no country and no people, I 
think, who can look forward to the age of leisure and of abundance without a dread. 
For we have been trained too long to strive and not to enjoy, (p. 211) 

That we are rapidly approaching this point in America is dramatic- 
ally illustrated by data which show changes in poverty levels and 
median family income levels over the last 40 years. There has been a 
veritable revolution in affluence — both in magnitude and in the rapi- 
dity with which it was acquired. In roughly the space of half a lifetime, 
from 1929 to 1969, the proportion of the total U.S. population in 
poverty fell from 60 percent to 12 percent (Allen, 1952; Census Bureau, 
1970). Median family incomes rose, in 1969 dollars, from $2100 (esti- 
mated) in 1939 to $9433 in 1969 and will rise to an estimated $22,000 by 
the year 2000 (Census Bureau, 1970; Population Commission, 1972). 
There can be no doubt that this unprecedented material wealth, 
acquired so rapidly, represents a quantum departure from past con- 
ditions. From this evidence alone, it is clear that one could expect a 
disjunction between the functional role of our traditional images of 
humankind and the new material reality they confront. In the words of 
the social psychologist, Kenneth Keniston (1965): 

With the age-old goal of universal prosperity within sight, we must question whether 
the methods — technological values and virtues, the instrumental goals of our affluent 
society — that help us approach this goal will serve to take us beyond it. (p. 428) 

Obviously, the foregoing data and comments should not be inter- 
preted as a suggestion that there are no longer serious problems of 
poverty in our society. This cannot be the case when 12 percent of the 
U.S. population in poverty translates as 25 million people. What can be 
questioned is whether a continuation of scarcity notions will help 

52 Changing Images of Man 

people get out of poverty. In many respects, the societal reforms 
necessary to cope with poverty (e.g. redistribution of income) have 
much in common with the reforms necessary to cope with the problems 
of affluence. Therefore, these are more complementary than compet- 
ing concerns. 

For those who now exist in relative affluence, scarcity premises may 
still seem appropriate for psychological rather than material reasons. 
The nature of this perennial scarcity is discussed by Easterlin (1973) in 
his article, "Does money buy happiness?": 

Each person acts on the assumption that more money will bring more happiness; 
and, indeed, if he does get more money, and others do not (or get less), his 
happiness increases. But when everyone acts on this assumption and incomes 
generally increase, no one, on the average, feels better off. Yet each person goes on, 
generation after generation, unaware of the self-defeating process in which he is 
caught up. (p. 10) 

Thus, the purchase of happiness is an illusory phenomenon, "a distant, 
urgently sought, but never attained goal" (Easterlin, 1973, p. 10). 

Despite the contemporary success in creating scarcity which is in- 
creasingly psychological, there are reasons to believe that "manufac- 
tured want" will not long endure in our society. First, we are destined 
to run, sooner or later, against the limits of world resources. For 
example, we are seeing these limits reached in food and energy 
shortages. Second, our material abundance seems to have been ac- 
companied by a disturbing spiritual, personal, and social poverty. 
Etzioni suggests that the hedonistic thrust of the more recent period of 
industrialism arises when "old patterns of meaning erode without 
being replaced by a new set" (1972, p. 6). Thus, we have found only 
ephemeral and transient meaning through our consumption behavior. 
However, human needs are hierarchically ordered such that higher 
needs emerge when lower needs are satisfied (Maslow, 1962; Graves, 
1967). This implies that as we become relatively satiated materially, 
other needs will arise — friendship, love, self-actualization, community 
with others — to assume a place of primary importance in people's lives. 
In turn, this suggests that profound disorientation may occur when our 
underlying image of economic man continues to exhort us to behave 
and find meaning in a way of life that is inimical to the fulfillment of 
these newly emergent needs. 

The Present Mismatch between Premises and Societal Realities 

There are a number of inferable value premises that characterize the 
workings of our society. They may never have been declared as guiding 

Economic Man: Servant to Industrial Metaphors 53 

premises, but the behaviors and policies during the industrial period 
suggest that they, or their close relatives, must have been at work. 
Below we list a number of such premises which seem possibly 
obsolescent. Since these are too many to discuss in any detail, seven that 
have particular relevance to the image of economic man are amplified in 
the discussion. 


(1) That progress is synonymous with growth of GNP, that quality of life is furthered by a 
system of economics based on ever-increasing consumption. 

(2) That the individual should be free to make his own choice of "the good," and that the 
choices he makes in pursuit of self-interest will somehow add up to desirable overall societal 

That people are essentially separate, so that little intrinsic responsibility is felt for the effect 
of present actions on remote individuals or future generations. 

(3) That humankind is separate from nature, and hence it is our destiny to master nature. 

(4) The "technological imperative" that any technology that can be developed, and any 
knowledge that can be applied, should be. 

That the search for knowledge is appropriately dominated by utilitarian values — 
science supported to the extent that it promises new manipulative technologies. 
That the aggregate knowledge of specialized experts constitutes wisdom. 
That both societal growth and protection of one's own interests are best served by 
competitive aggressive behaviors. 

(5) That man is rational and that reductionism in positivistic scientific thinking is the 
approach to knowledge most to be trusted. 

(6) That individual identity is to be equated with material possessions acquired and/or 
occupational status achieved. 

(7) That there is freedom in affluence, that it is possible for people to earn "enough" money, 
and simultaneously have full freedom of choice. 

That the future of the planet can safely be left to autonomous nation -states, operating 

essentially independently. 

The "political premise" that "what ought to be" is not a meaningful concept because it 

is not achievable. 

That economic efficiency should be pursued indefinitely through the organization and 

division of labor and the replacement of humans by machines. 

Premise One: that progress is synonymous with growth of GNP and that 
growth is inherently good. It is now well accepted that gross measures 
of growth such as GNP do not tell us a great deal about our society's 
welfare. For example, the level of pollution is correlated with the level 
of GNP: the question arises, what is growing — pollution or social 
well-being? Given the destructive as well as benevolent potential of our 
powerful economy, we can no longer afford blindly to accept the 
premise that "bigger is better" and "growth is good." The momentum 
of such an ideology may be suicidal. 

When we combine our growth ethic with a passion for hard, 
numerical evidence of growth, we find that we tend to maximize most 
what we can measure best: the GNP, the rate of employment, years of 

54 Changing Images of Man 

education received, the number of cars produced, and so on. While 
these indices of success are useful, they tend to relegate more sub- 
jective measures of success (aesthetic maturity, capacity for love, 
environmental quality) to an inferior status. Further, "hard" measures 
of growth such as GNP give a false sense of security, as long as they are 
going up, because they sidestep the crucial question: abundance for 

Premise Two: that there is a natural law of beneficial self-interest 
which assures us that when persons act in their own competitive, 
material self-interest, the public good is well served. In its economic 
form, this belief in a harmony between individual self-interest and the 
welfare of society as a whole was the essence of the laissez-faire concept. 

There are several problems with this premise. A different description 
of this "natural" law is that: if we set up a social framework in which 
people are encouraged to be generous, most of them will rise to the 
occasion; set up one which encourages them to be selfish, and most will 
sink to that level. Thus, the assumption that humankind is motivated 
only by immediate self-interest may well be another of the self-fulfilling 
hypotheses of society. Having helped create a world in which human 
relationships are increasingly forced into the marketplace, we find 
superb confirmation of the initial dogma, that humankind is governed 
by marketplace motives (Claiborne, 1971). The incompatibility of this 
motivation with human actualization is summarized by Melvin Tumin 

. . . one may fairly say that what business stands for, ideologically insists upon and 
tries to get adopted as general principles of conduct, run directly against and reduce 
the chances of evoking affection and love as principles of relationship ... in promot- 
ing themes quite inimical to identification, affection, and significant membership, 
business thereby and to that extent tends to bring out, standardize, and reward the 
most unsocial impulses in man. (p. 130) 

Not only does this diminished conception of persons exist in the realm 
of business practice, it is supported by economic theory which has 
"still an unmistakable aura of eighteenth-century pleasure-pain 
psychology ..." (Rima, 1967). 

Premise Three: that humankind is separate from nature and it is its 
obligation to conquer nature. Humankind, so long subservient to 
nature, now finds itself in an increasingly powerful role as the creator 
of its own environmental context. However, given the highly inter- 
dependent links in the ecological chain, our capacity for manipulation 
of the environment must give way to an enlarged sense of symbiotic 

Premise Four: that the technological imperative, the increasing ability 

Economic Man: Servant to Industrial Metaphors 55 

and hence requirement to shape and control the environment, includ- 
ing people, is an unqualified good. This is related to the utilitarian bias 
in the search for knowledge, so that only that knowledge is pursued 
which promises new manipulative technologies. The "technological 
imperative" — that any technology which is possible is, ipso facto, neces- 
sary and desirable to apply — is now conflicting on occasion with what 
may become "social imperatives." For example, because the SST was 
possible it was presented to the American public as necessary and 
desirable. The public, however, decided that it was neither, and after 
an extended national furor, the project had to be abandoned. We are 
beginning to weigh the social, psychological, and environmental costs 
against the worth of such products of technology. 

Premise Five: that we are first and foremost rational beings and 
feeling should be subordinated as an inferior aspect of our nature. 
This is an understandable premise in that it supported development of 
the cognitive skills needed in the industrializing process. However, this 
empirical view relegates the speculative world of art, music, poetry, and 
religion to a position of lesser reality. How then are we to give meaning 
to life in an affluent society if the "higher" pursuits of people must be 
subordinated as "lower" in order to produce that affluence? We must 
realize the dehumanizing influence in the suppression of the non- 
rational human potentials. 

Premise Six: that individual identity and success in life are to be 
measured by material possessions acquired and/or occupational status 
achieved. The biblical injunction against this kind of thinking is to 
inquire what it profits a person to gain the world but to lose his soul. 
However, one's soul has become redundant in a world secularized by 
affluence; "the most effective way to establish [identify] distinctions is 
through styles of consumption" (Downs, p. 64). Fortune magazine 
recently reported that in the consumer market of the 1970s there is 

an increasing insistence by the customers on using consumption to express them- 
selves, to help in fashioning their own identities. . . . For increasing numbers of 
Americans, the clothes they wear are not simply material objects; on the contrary, 
they are viewed ... as the most basic expression of life style, indeed of identity itself. 

(Silberman, 1971) 

Premise Seven: that there is freedom in affluence. We have traditionally 
assumed that if people can simultaneously earn "enough" money and 
be given "freedom" of choice, they can take care of themselves. The 
fallacy of this view lies in believing there is no conflict between earning 
the money and the freedom of choice that is then available. The very 
act of earning "enough" money constrains the number of social, 

56 Changing Images of Man 

psychological, political, and physical choices that one can make. Mar- 
garet Mead has pointed out that to introduce cloth garments 
(effectively) into a grass- or bark-clad population, one must simul- 
taneously introduce closets, soap, sewing, and furniture. Cloth is part 
of a complex cultural pattern that includes storing, cleaning, mending, 
and protecting (Slater, 1970). Imagine, then, the cultural constraints 
implicit in our society which is so laden with goods and services. Thus, 
the real philosophy underlying "freedom in affluence" is that once you 
have enough money to be free from want, then all further income gives 
you the freedom to want — as long as you want only more material 
goods and services. This premise runs afoul if wants arise that cannot 
be largely satisfied by material means. 

The preceding discussion is only suggestive of the potential mis- 
match between our inferable value premises and the societal context in 
which they are operable. This lack of congruence calls into question, at 
a deeper level, the utility and desirability of the economic "image of 
man." It is difficult to tell when and how congruence — and thereby 
meaning and direction — will be reestablished in our social order. There 
are, however, several forces for resolution that will likely be involved as 
a higher level of reintegration emerges. 


There are two distinguishable methods by which congruence might be 

1. The trajectory of the industrial state dynamic may be sustained 
and the image of humankind adapted to fit that dynamic. 

2. The industrial state dynamic may be either self-limiting or limited 
by society so as to conform to the guiding influence of a newly 
emergent image of man. 

In either event, the economic image is hypothesized to require 
change; however, the nature of that change is quite different for the 
two responses. Although these two alternatives are an oversim- 
plification of the interdependent process of societal evolution which 
inevitably implies the dialectical interaction between images and 
environment, nonetheless they do alert us to the following questions: 

• How powerful is the industrial dynamic? 

• Can we control that power? 

• Do we have emerging images of man to direct it? 

Economic Man: Servant to Industrial Metaphors 57 

The Power of the Industrial State 

Technological change has an unquestioned primacy in virtually every 
area of our collective existence. It provides the motor for the continual 
social change to which we must somehow adapt (Keniston, 1965). 
During the industrial period, the forces of economic/technological 
change were unleashed but the agencies for the control or guidance of 
technology were still rudimentary (Heilbroner, 1967). Thus tech- 
nological advance became a near-autonomous driving force, bringing 
about major changes in the total social fabric. The society is under 
pressure to revise its underlying "metaphors of meaning" or images 
of man so as to conform to the new conditions technology has created. 

The powerful structuring influence of economic forces upon 
developed societies is dramatically illustrated by the fact that in- 
dustrialism creates standardized societal forms which are strong enough 
to transcend traditionally distinctive cultural boundaries and 
differences. Alex Inkeles, who has done extensive and detailed cross- 
cultural studies of this phenomenon, writes that: 

There is substantial evidence, over a wide attitudinal and experimental range, that 
perceptions, opinions and values are systematically ordered in modern societies. . . . 
Modern society ... is more or less unique in the extent to which it produces 
standardized contexts of experience. 

(Inkeles, 1969, p. 2) 

Other extensive cross-cultural studies have reached similar conclusions. 
Adelman and Morris (1967), in a study of economic growth and 
socio-political change in seventy-four countries, state that: 

During this process of successive differentiation [which accompanies economic 
development], the economic aspects of the society become increasingly more im- 
portant and more explicit until, at the fully developed stage, economic con- 
siderations have become a powerful force in shaping national behavior, (p. 267) 

Thus, it does seem plausible to conclude that economic processes and 
products are creating an interlocking network of values, institutions, 
incentives, physical structures, and social structures that exact con- 
formity as the price for inhabiting this societal environment. Once we 
have created a living environment, we are destined to be products of 
that which we have created. We cannot start afresh. Rene Dubos makes 
the point that: 

The environment men create through their wants becomes a mirror that reflects 
their civilization; more importantly it also constitutes a book in which is written the 

58 Changing Images of Man 

formula of life that they communicate to others and transmit to succeeding genera- 
tions. The characteristics of the environment are therefore of importance not only 
because they affect the comfort and quality of present-day life, but even more 
because they condition the development of young people and thereby of society. 

(Dubos, 1968, pp. 170-171) 

Although it is clear that the "imprinting" force of the industrial state 
is strong, it seems by no means certain that the industrial dynamic is 
sustainable. The industrial dynamic may be self-limiting as it runs up 
against the limits of world resources, as it no longer provides people 
with a sense of self-identity and meaning, as its structure reaches a 
point of increasing instability and vulnerability. 

The self-limiting character may already be reflected in our apparent 
need to make major modification of our economic institutions. It might 
seem quite unrealistic to think of drastic change in the massive and 
powerful business organizations were it not for a historical parallel. 
Probably it would have seemed quite preposterous in the mid-eigh- 
teenth century to imagine that, over major portions of the globe, 
governments would soon be considered legitimate only if they derived 
"their just powers from the consent of the governed," if they became 
"governments of the people, by the people, and for the people." The 
social power of granting or withholding legitimacy, though its 
mechanisms are subtle and little understood, has impressive force — as 
monarchies and colonial powers came to realize. 

An analogous challenge to legitimacy appears to be building up with 
respect to business institutions. The legitimacy which in the past was 
granted on the basis of ownership and managerial expertise is being 
attacked. Consumers, environmentalists, civil-rights groups, and 
modern feminists are placing new requirements on business for social 
responsibility. Workers are demanding not only a voice in the policy- 
making and decision processes hitherto reserved for management, but 
also improved work environments and "meaningful work." The 
emergence of huge multinational corporations with economic powers 
comparable to those of nations has brought awareness that these 
private-sector institutions have impacts on human lives comparable to 
the impacts of political governments, and hence should be subject to 
the demand made of governments to assume responsibility for the 
welfare of those over whom they wield power. 

The Control of the Industrial State 

Although the industrializing process has a very powerful impact 
upon the rest of society, it is itself largely dependent upon tech- 

Economic Man: Servant to Industrial Metaphors 59 

nological change, which tends to be an uncontrolled and undirected 
process. The reasoning behind this contention is as follows: 

• Economic growth depends largely upon technological change — economic studies 
typically attribute between 60 percent and 90 percent of economic growth to the 
forces of technological change (Hollander, 1965; Kuznets, 1966). 

• The direction of technological change in the short run depends largely upon profit 
potentials and, therefore, technological change occurs as an unplanned and un- 
governed process in the unrelated profit pursuits of many independent firms 
(Schmookler, 1966; Rogers, 1962). 

• The direction of technological change in the long run depends largely upon the state 
of scientific knowledge, which develops haphazardly through the accretion of many 
small bits of knowledge from many independent sources (Mesthene, 1970). 

In both the long and short runs, the regulation of technological 
change is peculiarly difficult owing to systemic shortcomings. Control 
over its direction requires a great deal of expertise; however, the 
demands for specialization inherent in the development of expertise 
necessarily narrow the focus of regulating agencies at the same time 
that the consequences of our technologies are having an increasingly 
broad impact. Therefore, from a systemic perspective, the possibility of 
effective regulation of technological change would seem to be declining 
at the same time that the need for guidance is increasing. 

There are forces beyond the rather accidental convergence and 
impact of technology which reinforce the feeling that "the course of 
social change is quite beyond our capacity to control or even influence" 
(Keniston, 1965). For example, the market mechanism largely reacts to 
short-term profit potentials and substantially discounts the dysfunc- 
tional consequences that might accrue from decisions based upon 
short-time horizons. Also, the result of using such criteria as net profits, 
units produced, and attendance levels as measures of societal progress 
is that: 

. . . each sub-component of society tends to define its values and goals, not in terms of 
quality, inner satisfactions or fulfillments, but with respect to position relative to 
other like components within the competitive context, irrespective of the state or 
direction of movement of that context. 

(Wilson, 1970, p. 21) 

In addition, there may be fundamental, systemic "control deficien- 
cies" that inevitably emerge as a society becomes highly developed (e.g. 
with increasing urbanization, growth of the economy, growth of politi- 
cal institutions, interlocked transportation and communications net- 
works, and so on). It appears that "industrial man" has created an 

60 Changing Images of Man 

interdependent societal environment of such proportions that it has 
inadvertently reached a critical, systemic mass which is beyond his 
direct control. We have aggregated what were comprehensible smaller 
systems into larger and oftentimes incomprehensible supersystems: 

[there is a] . . . growing reliance on supersystems that were perhaps designed to help 
people make analyses and decisions, but which have since surpassed the understand- 
ing of their users while at the same time becoming indispensable to them. . . . 

(Weizenbaum, 1972) 

The simultaneous need for and lack of control over societal changes 
at the macro-systemic level can be visualized as follows: 


Interdependence Complexity 

need for Regulation <— (conflict) -» need for Expertise 

This schematic suggests that as a society becomes increasingly developed, 
a logical consequence is for the system to become increasingly complex 
and interdependent. An increasingly complex system — given biological, 
learning, and mechanical limitations to human decision-making 
capacity — implies the need for division of labor and increasing speci- 
alization, i.e. the need for expertise. Further, an increasingly inter- 
dependent system requires increasing regulation to insure smooth 
functioning and to prevent damaging perturbations. Several con- 
clusions follow from these characteristics of large societal systems: 

• Increasing interdependence implies increasing vulnerability of the system: one 
hijacker can take over a multimillion dollar airliner; a localized power grid failure 
can plunge the whole U.S. eastern seaboard into darkness; the shutdown of a brake 
plant can stop production at major auto assembly plants and also at "upstream" 
plants. The entire system, then, is no stronger than its weakest or most vulnerable 
component. This weakness, which becomes more pronounced as interdependence 
increases, necessitates increasing predictability, order, control, and regulation of 
societal processes (human and mechanical). As Donald Michael has pointed out, this 
weakness is further aggravated by the fact that as the size of the population 
increases, "even if the percent of disturbing events that occur doesn't increase, the 
number of events that occur will increase" (1968). Further, as more people and 
processes are grouped together, the number of linkages (vulnerability points) in- 
creases more than proportionately — perhaps exponentially. 

• Increasing complexity requires increasing expertise in order to cope with that 
complexity. However, this trend may seriously compromise our much prized demo- 
cratic processes. If people do not have the capacity to make informed decisions, they 
may feel obliged to defer to the expert. We see evidence of this in the common belief 
that "the President has all the facts and knows many things that we do not — 


Economic Man: Servant to Industrial Metaphors 61 

therefore, trust in his decisions." Another way of stating this is that the viability of a 
democracy depends upon the informed decision-making capacity of its citizenry, i.e. 
the "relative political maturity" of the people must at least maintain parity with the 
complexity of the issues confronting the public. If the acquisition of relevant know- 
ledge does not proceed at about the same pace at which the decisions become 
complex, then relative political maturity will decline. This may have two con- 
sequences: (1) increasing reliance placed upon the "expert" to maintain order and 
control, with a resulting compromise of our democratic processes, or (2) reluctance 
to give control to the "expert" but, with an increasing inability to make informed 
decisions, the result is that the system may truly go "out of control." 

Increasing interdependence requires that the whole system be guided — to allow any 
element to exist outside of the domain of guidance is to threaten the entire, 
intertwined network. An increasing scope of control, in turn, implies governance by 
that body whose powers extend over the entire system — the national government. 
Thus, a predictable consequence of economic growth (with its systemic concomitants) 
is an increasingly broad focus of federal involvement. Increasing expertise, on the 
other hand, implies an increasingly narrow focus of specialization and division of 
labor (whether intellectual or physical). A disturbing thought arises: Who is the overall 
expert with overall control? Can we expect any single person, such as the President, or 
group, such as the Domestic Council, to have the human capacity to aggregate all 
relevant expertise and maintain their own relative political maturity? Are they not 
subject to the same human limitations that have necessitated the demise of the 
"Renaissance man" for the sake of developing many narrow if deeper extensions of 

In earlier times, when our society was comprised of many small and 
virtually self-sufficient units, a wrong decision usually had very limited 
consequences. Today, an inappropriate decision can have vast con- 
sequences for the entire societal system. While the interdependence, 
vulnerability, and need for effective control of the system are increas- 
ing, the means of control may be decreasing. 

Even this cursory analysis suggests that we cannot attain a post- 
industrial society with industrial-era means of regulating human and 
institutional conduct. There is the further suggestion that our societal 
system may become increasingly destabilized and vulnerable to chaotic 
disruptions. Thus, the "undirected" power of the industrial system has 
contrasting implications. On the one hand, it could be extremely 
difficult to redirect our society in any direction other than where the 
natural momentum seems to be taking it. On the other hand, this 
natural momentum may be strongly self-limiting when a critical mass of 
systemic complexity and interdependence is reached. The latter point 
suggests that out of the ensuing disorganization may come a sufficient 
freeing-up of the system to allow the injection of fresh images and 
corresponding institutional structures in such a way as to give us a new 
burst of momentum into the post-industrial era. 

62 Changing Images of Man 

The Growing Impotence of the Economic Image 

While our economic image has become less and less capable of 
guiding the societal context created by technological change, there has 
also been a decline of constructive Utopian thinking. Indeed, the words 
"utopian" and "myth" currently connote impracticality, fantasy, and 
irrelevance to everyday concerns. When we label something Utopian it 
is often to dismiss it out of hand. When we speak of myth it is often to 
characterize something as false. These pejorative connotations suggest 
that we live today without the benefit of positive anticipatory myths, 
symbols, images: 

... as thinkers, Americans rarely if ever now attempt to construct an imaginary 
society better than that in which they live; and at the same time, the faith that our 
society is in some sense a Utopia has surely disappeared. . . . But if we define Utopia 
as any attempt to make imaginatively concrete the possibilities of the future, Utopias 
have not in our own day ceased to exist, but have merely been transvalued. . . . Our 
visions of the future have shifted from images of hope to vistas of despair; Utopias 
have become warnings, not beacons. Huxley's Brave New World, Orwell's 1984 and 
Animal Farm, Young's The Rise of the Meritocracy, and ironically even Skinner's 
Walden Two — the vast majority of our serious visions of the future are negative 
visions, extensions of the most pernicious trends of the present. 

(Keniston, 1965, p. 327) 

This wave of negative visions of the future suggests that the image of 
humankind which proved so powerful in the Industrial Revolution is 
increasingly impotent as an organizing metaphor. Rather than being 
pulled by an anticipatory image of a positive future and pushed by the 
momentum of a realized past, we are now only being pushed by the 
momentum of our realized past without the attraction of a magnetic 
image of the future. To the extent that this is true, it would seem that 
our society is out of control, with guiding images virtually non-existent 
and the system operating on its own complex of micro-decisions. This 
loss of guidance via positive images might be tolerable if the internal 
dynamic of the industrial system were sufficiently organized that the 
numerous individual decisions yielded a desirable result. But our 
experience and present situation make all too clear how haphazard is 
the internal dynamic. We are thus doubly disadvantaged: we have no 
guiding images to impose upon the industrial system and the system itself seems 
to have no internal macro -guiding processes. 

Thus the industrial state at this point has immense drive but no 
direction, marvelous capacity to get there but no idea of where it is 
going. Somehow the breakdown of the old images has seemed to lead 
more to despair than to a search for new images. 

Economic Man: Servant to Industrial Metaphors 63 


The material abundance associated with the industrial era has not 
been acquired without tremendous costs. Accompanying industrialism 
was an erosion of Western man's sense of a cosmological order: 

Contemporary man no longer "naturally" sees himself as a useful and necessary 
member of a social whole geared into a meaningful plan of existence within the 
totality of a cosmic or divine order. 

(Luckman, 1970, p. 584) 

A meaningful existence is largely derived from the existence of, and 
congruence between, the human being's relationships to self, society, 
and universe. Although profitable, the industrial period has thus been 
very costly as it has left us alienated, to varying degrees, from these 
sources of meaning. Mysteries of the cosmos have seemingly been 
displaced by the cold rationality of science. A sense of community has 
been displaced by an incomprehensible urban existence. Social pres- 
sures have created an "other-directed" mentality such that many are 
alienated even from themselves. This would suggest that the next 
phase of our societal evolution should be the reintegration of man with 
his sources of meaning — to find the deep roots of significance among 
the ephemeral artifacts of our society. The continued extension of the 
industrial state seems poorly suited to this task. We are challenged now 
to look beyond the technological and material frontier to a new 
American frontier which is essentially that of man searching for himself. 
To summarize: The interrelationship between the power of the 
industrial state, the control of the industrial dynamic and the lead-lag 
relationship of images can be woven into two distinct societal fabrics 
which could plausibly emerge out of the present. Stripped of all 
refinement, the skeletal outlines of two responses to the current image- 
society mismatch might be: 

1. A "technological extrapolationist" response. This hypothesized 
response assumes that: (a) the industrial dynamic would be sus- 
tained, (b) it would continue to be relatively "uncontrolled," and 
(c) the economic image of man would continue to lag and be 
forced to make adaptive changes in accordance with the dictates 
of the evolving industrial dynamic. 

2. An "evolutionary transformationalist" response. This hypo- 
thesized response assumes that: (a) the industrial dynamic is either 
self-limiting or else will be limited by society, (b) the dynamism of 

64 Changing Images of Man 

the "American Creed" will regain control (a greater degree of 
societal direction in response to the will of the people) over our 
societal system and subsystems, and (c) a new humanistic image of 
humankind will emerge which will guide us into a post-industrial 

Despite the seeming clarity of these two responses, we are still faced 
with a dilemma. To the extent that modern people and their images 
are being shaped by the urban-industrial environment, it would seem 
fruitless to try to change "the image" without changing the environ- 
ment which demands certain patterns of behavior. On the other hand, 
it would seem equally fruitless to try to change the powerful dynamic 
of industrialism without the help of a potent image of humankind to 
guide us toward a different societal trajectory. One alternative is to 
attempt to do both. The other alternative is to accept — and some would 
suggest suffer — the consequences of the working out of the logical 
extensions of the industrial-state paradigm. What is implied by both of 
these alternatives is considered in greater detail in Chapter 7, where 
they are developed at greater length. 

Reproduced by permission of Simon & Schuster, a Division of Gulf and Western Corporation, 

© 1970, Walt Kelly. 



Influence of Science on the "Image of Man" 

Let us suppose for a moment that we are back in the year 1600, concerned with 
forecasting probable future trends. In retrospect it is clear that one of the most 
significant events in progress was what came later to be called the Copernican 
revolution. . . What was the essence of this remarkable transformation that started 
with the brash suggestions of Nicholas Copernicus and Giordano Bruno and led to 
consequences as diverse as a tremendous acceleration in physical science and a 
decline in the political power of the Church? One useful interpretation is that a 
group of questions relating to the position of the Earth in the universe, and the 
nature and significance of the heavenly bodies passed out of the realm of the 
theological and philosophical and into the realm of empirical inquiry. No longer 
were these questions to be settled by referring to this or that ecclesiastical or 
scholarly authority; rather they were to be subjected to illumination by systematic 
observation and experiments. 

Willis Harman in "The New Copernican Revolution" (1969) 

The explosion of science and the kind of knowledge about man and his 
universe that came as a result of this shift in authority structure has 
transformed science into one of the most powerful influences on our 
image and conception of humankind today. As we shall see, however, 
science now stands at the threshold of yet another series of changes 
whose consequences may be even more far-reaching than those which 
emerged from the Copernican, Newtonian, Darwinian, and Freudian 
revolutions. Questions regarding consciousness, awareness, subjective 
and transpersonal experience, the roots of fundamental value pos- 
tulates, and related matters constitute a set of concerns that may, like 
earlier questions regarding the physical universe, be passing from the 
realm of theological and philosophical and into the realm of systematic 
empirical inquiry. 

This chapter is organized in three parts. The first is a general 
discussion of the characteristics and inherent limitations of science, 
including brief mention of areas in which the old mechanistic 
metaphors and deterministic assumptions have proven inadequate and 
yielded to probabilistic laws of causality and weird models quite foreign 
to anything in ordinary experience. 

The second part comprises a cursory examination of a number of 
scientific frontier areas where anomalies are showing up or data do 
not fit comfortably into the old paradigms. These are the challenges 
which may in the end result in a shift, to a new, expanded scientific 


68 Changing Images of Man 

paradigm when the strain of patching up the old or suppressing the 
offending data becomes too great. 

The third part of the chapter examines some of the sources and 
characteristics of a possible new scientific paradigm. Throughout, the 
interaction is emphasized between scientific paradigms and cultural 
images of man. 


Science is ideally a search for knowledge and enlightenment carried 
out with an objective and pragmatically defined attitude. The spirit of 
science is that of open, unbiased inquiry into whatever interests the 
investigator. The classical view of science is essentially based on the 
following axioms (Conant, 1951): 

• Reason is the supreme tool of humankind. 

• Knowledge, acquired through the use of reason, will free mankind from ignorance 
and will lead to a better future. 

• The universe is inherently orderly and physical. 

• This order can be discovered by science and objectively expressed. 

• Only science deals in empirically verifiable truth. 

• Observation and experimentation are the only valid means of discovering scientific 
truth, which is always independent of the observer. 

As we shall see, recent developments in a variety of frontiers of 
scientific inquiry make us progressively less sure that we know what 
these axioms mean, or should mean. 

Paradigms in Transmutation 

The scientific inquiry is not something that can be examined apart 
from the society in which it is embedded. An active dynamic process 
exists among the developing scientific knowledge, its technological 
applications, and the surrounding cultural context. As the new know- 
ledge generates new technologies and these are applied to influence the 
physical and social environment, the cultural context is affected. But 
this in turn affects the kind, form, and application of new knowledge. 
In a way similar to that portrayed by Fig. 8 (page 49), conflict grows 
between societal ends and the consequences of technological ap- 
plications, and this brings challenges to the basic axioms of the scientific 

The commitment of science to verifiable knowledge renders it 
naturally Promethean. The mythical bold explorer Prometheus stole 
fire from the Gods and thereby gave man control of his own destiny. 
Prometheus' brother Epimetheus liked to play with his brothers' dis- 

Influence of Science on the "Image of Man" 69 

coveries, not always with due regard for the consequences. The Gods, 
angry over Prometheus' theft, gained their revenge by sending Epi- 
metheus a wife, Pandora, with her proverbial box which upon being 
opened released all mankind's ills and troubles. Only Hope remained 
inside, to preserve man's sanity in the face of his new misfortune. As de 
Ropp (1972) points out: 

Our age, the age of the new Prometheans, illustrates as does no other age, the depth 
of the Promethean myth. Never before have the Prometheans been so daring. Never 
before have the Epimetheans been so rash and never has Pandora's box been so 
crammed with menace. 

This Promethean-Epimethean conflict between science and civiliza- 
tion is one, perhaps the dominant, force presently modifying the 
patterns of scientific conceptualization and experiment. Emergence of 
a "new transcendentalism" in the culture is a second. And new 
developments in certain scientific frontier areas form a third. 

The goals of society, influenced by the cultural image of man-in-the- 
universe, help to define the research territory of science. Thus the 
content of science is affected by the prevailing image of man. Then the 
act of scientific inquiry involves another set of image processes involv- 
ing models of the problem to be investigated. Many scientists have 
stressed the importance of proper imaging in scientific investigation; 
one nuclear physicist, Martin Deutsch, has remarked (1959): 

In my own work, I have been puzzled by the striking degree to which an experi- 
menter's preconceived image of the process he is investigating determines the outcome 
of his observations. (Emphasis added) 

The prevailing image of man-in-the-universe also enters into the 
interpretation of observed phenomena. The scientist almost inevitably 
refers back to the model of causality contained within the more basic 
image to decide on an acceptable interpretation of his data and 
findings. The myths and images of the culture influence perception of 
what seems possible in the universe and is therefore acceptable — 
scientifically or otherwise. 

Thomas Kuhn (1962) 'used the term "scientific paradigm" to refer to 
the total pattern of perceiving, conceptualizing, acting, validating, and 
valuing associated with a particular image of reality that prevails in a 
science or branch of science. These theoretical models with their 
associated behavior patterns may operate successfully for a limited 
time, but in the dynamic processes of scientific development tend to 
rise, fall, and be replaced — often by an expanded paradigm that 
includes the earlier one as a special case. When a paradigm is more or 
less successful at accommodating the phenomena being perceived (and, 

70 Changing Images of Man 

we recall, what is perceived is affected by the form of the dominant 
paradigm), then we have what Kuhn terms "normal" science.* Its 
central activity is the articulation and elaboration of the reigning 

However, when a sufficient amount of anomalous data has ac- 
cumulated that does not fit the paradigm's terms of explanation, then 
one or more new candidate paradigms may emerge and there results a 
period of "crisis" science. Events during such a period can be highly 
complex, for as Polanyi (1958) remarks: 

A hostile audience may in fact deliberately refuse to entertain novel conceptions such 
as those of Freud, Eddington, Rhine or Lysenko, precisely because its members fear 
that once they have accepted this framework they will be led to conclusions which 
they — rightly or wrongly — abhor. 

Proponents of a new system can convince their audience only by first winning their 
intellectual sympathy for a doctrine they have not yet grasped. Those who listen 
sympathetically will discover for themselves what they would otherwise never have 

Changes in paradigm constitute the most critical moments in science, 
for they determine whether a new realm of reality is to be successfully 
incorporated into the operations of science. These are also the times 
when the dominant image of humankind bcomes most crucial since the 
issues involved may include "abhorred" conclusions. This of course 
doe's not include every possible case; strong reaction to a theory does, 
however, often mean that a paradigmatic limitation has become in- 

The anomalies that appear near the beginning of a "crisis" period in 
science may, because of their prematurity, be ridiculed or ignored. 
Stent (1972) suggests that a discovery is premature "if its implications 
cannot be connected by a series of simple logical steps to canonical, or 
generally accepted knowledge." Science's encounter with prematurity 
is a basic problem. When it occurs, the ideal commitment of science 
always to examine the facts of a matter can weaken, and the facts may 
be either ignored or attacked. The significance of Mendel's discovery 
of the gene in 1865 was not understood until about 35 years later and 
was ignored until that time. Polanyi's 1916 model of the adsorption of 
gases onto solids was rejected out of hand as ridiculous until it was 

* "There is never a period of normal science: What Kuhn calls paradigms are multiple 
and usually disconnected theories, postulates which are constantly being tested, 
falsified and altered or verified and reclaimed pro tern. The process is dynamic; in time 
it alters every tenet' of science. The abandonment of an important tenet (like geocen- 
tricity) is sometimes called a revolution." — Henry Margenau 

Kuhn's use of the term paradigm is controversial among many members of the scientific 
community; some scientists regard Kuhn as correct, others do not. 

Influence of Science on the "Image of Man" 71 

"rediscovered" as correct about 40 years later. However, when a new 
theory can be seen to involve immediate relevance to the dominant 
image, a new phenomenon may enter the field. Stent regards the 
subject of ESP as currently in the realm of prematurity, given the 
general reactions of the scientific community to the subject. Even as 
reported by Stent, however, it might be more proper to regard it not as 
being only premature but also as a taboo in science. 

One could argue, as does Dubos (1972), that there are no taboo 
topics, since science is always willing to deal with all questions within its 
capabilities — and ultimately all problems are "scientific." In practice, 
however, history often speaks differently and echoes Kelvin's point 
(1970) that: "In principle we may say that the 'facts' speak for them- 
selves; in practice they do so only when accompanied by a chorus of 
approval." Shaw remarked: "All great truths begin as blasphemies." 
We might well ask, what have been the great blasphemies in science? 

On the level of the physical sciences, the classic case is that of Galileo. 
The Copernican theory that the earth circled the sun was tabooed by 
society, particularly by the Church. As Hanna Arendt (1958) explains, it 
was permissible for scientists of the day to use the Copernican theory in 
their mathematical calculations, but it was not permissible for Galileo to 
invent a telescope demonstrating it to be true. In the eighteenth 
century a controversy raged around the question of meteorites as rocks 
which fell from the sky. After the Lavoisier commission decided that 
rocks could not fall from the sky, museums threw away their collections 
of meteorites since they were no longer "real" (Morrisson, 1972). 
Unidentified flying objects are taboo today also, even though a 
significant percentage of the cases on record are acknowledged as 
unexplained (Hynek, 1972). 

Taboos in biology have included Darwin's theory of evolution and at 
one time the study of anatomy, which was regarded as a violation of the 
"temple of the body." Contemporary taboos include the relation be- 
tween genetics and IQ (Beale, 1971) and human sexuality (Shainess, 
1973). To some extent the aura of taboo also hangs around B. F. 
Skinner's behaviorist theories. 

In the psychological realm, where issues related to images of the 
human being are the most explicit, taboos have included: dreams, 
hypnosis, death, suicide, homosexuality, parapsychology, subliminal 
perception, and psychedelic drugs. Only some of these areas are now 
beginning to emerge from the stigma of taboo (Farberow, 1963; Dixon, 
1971; Kleitman and Dement, 1957; Hilgard, 1965; Noyes, 1972). Of 
course, because a theory is tabooed, it does not necessarily contain truth 
(Krippner, 1973). The taboo problem in science arises when an in- 
vestigation could be performed to answer a question, but is not for 
reasons that are political, ideological, or irrational. 

72 Changing Images of Man 

Thus we can see that the issues of prematurity and taboo are 
powerful shaping influences on the content of scientific research. In 
cases where a topic involves both, it has even less chance of in- 
vestigation. In many such cases the "holding factor" appears to be 
adherence to a particular image of humankind, sometimes on the part 
of scientists themselves, sometimes by society, and occasionally by 
both — in spite of the existence of significant data to the contrary. 

Limitations of the Scientific Process Itself 

The human activity basic to science is observation and the recording 
thereof. However, a science based on description has limits imposed on 
it by the epistemological limits inherent in the process of description. 
Goedel in 1931 showed that it is impossible to demonstrate the internal 
consistency of complex systems without resort to principles of inference 
outside the system. This means there is a class of problems that must 
remain formally undecidable. Similarly Tarski (1944) established that 
any theorem expressed within the terms of a given formal language 
can be proved true only by reference to another language richer than 
that expressing the theorem. As Margenau (1965) bluntly expresses it: 

Science no longer contains absolute truths. We have begun to doubt such fun- 
damental propositions as the principle of the conservations of energy, the principle 
of causality, and many other commitments which were held to be unshakeable and 
firm in the past. 

Bremerman (1965) suggests a different kind of boundary with his 
theory defining an upper limit to the amount of information that can 
be held in any system — at least in terms of the current framework of 
analysis. This limit would prevent man from understanding his own 
brain if all he can use is the operations of the brain-as-system itself. 

Another limitation which is at least equally difficult to deal with is the 
more or less exclusive orientation toward the analytic/rational mode of 
problem solving. In the West, the only alternative has always seemed to 
be illogical "irrationality," our language being ill-equipped to discuss 
what many great scientists have acknowledged as the source of their 
discoveries: intuition. Recent results in brain research (discussed in 
detail later) indicate that linguistic expression and analytic thought are 
associated with the left side of the brain whereas the right side deals 
with field-oriented, synthetic perceptual modes. Hence, "left-side" 
thinkers tend not to acknowledge "intuition." 

A third limitation is specialization, which Bohm (1971) refers to as the 
natural fragmentation problem in science. Margenau (1973) points out 
that in large measure, specialization is simply a by-product of the 

Influence of Science on the "Image of Man" 


increasing complexity of science. In this sense it has been a necessary 
and powerful tool. However, it has progressed to the point where our 
attention has been directed away from the somatic or general systems 
aspects of nature; and as Fuller (1973) has pointed out, any species that 
has overspecialized has always become extinct owing to a loss of 
adaptive ability.* The impact of specialization in science is to reduce 
science's possible framework of explanations. 

Closely allied to specialization is the limitation imposed by the reduc- 
tionist method. This is the approach in science which proceeds to 
investigate systems by breaking them up into parts. As Ashby (1973) 
describes it: 

Faced with a system, the scientist responded automatically by taking it to pieces. 
Animals were anatomized to organs, organs microscoped down to cells, cells studied 
as collections of molecules, and molecules smashed to component atoms. This 
method of analysis tended to become dogma; and, in fact, the reductionists tended 
to assert that all science was to be advanced in this way alone. "Get to know the 
properties of each part, and you have only to put the parts together again and you 
will know the whole." 

This method, reduced to absurdity, tends to generate statements like 
"life is nothing but physics and chemistry." It also leads to the picture of 
the sciences (Schlegel, 1972) shown overleaf. 

with logic 8 

Astronomy « Chemistry ■ » Biochemistry 







Bota ny 


•■ Biophysics 



Human life sciences 
including medical sciences 

Social sciences 


Political science 



This model suggests that the kinds of procedures which physics and 
mathematics used in the nineteenth century should be applied to all 
other sciences, and leads to statements like: "biology depends on the 
judgment of the physicist" (Szent-Gyorgi, 1961). It is quite true that the 

"This point by Fuller, applied to us, might indicate why we will not survive if our 
technological resources are threatened, why we must relearn how to survive with only 
our natural resources, and why it is imperative to rely on machines only if one knows 
how to fix them, or do without them." — Stanley Krippner 

74 Changing Images of Man 

reductionist method of analysis has brought about major progress, and 
the model would constitute a quite logical picture of the sciences 
as a whole if science were to be confined to the analysis of the kinds of 
systems addressed by nineteenth-century physics. These systems in- 
volved little or no interaction between the component parts: they were 
in fact "reducible" systems. For these systems, the information needed 
to describe the whole system (and therefore control it) is almost 
equivalent to the amount of information needed to describe the parts 
in isolation: the whole is equal to the sum of the parts. 

There is, however, another class of systems involving rich inter- 
actions between the component parts. Biological and ecological systems 
are good examples. In these, synergy or the properties of the whole 
system created by the interactions of the parts operate to such an 
extent that reductionist analysis cannot achieve a theory capable of 
extension and prediction. Arbib (1972) points out that: 

We found that we needed to modify Newtonian mechanics to get to relativity when 
we entered the domain of the very fast; and we needed to modify them again to get 
to the laws of quantum mechanics when we entered the domain of the very small. 
Thus we must not be unprepared to have to find new laws of physics when we enter 
the domain of the very complex. 

The reductionist framework therefore contains inherent limitations 
when applied to highly complex systems, such as the brain or biological 
system as a whole, and new physical principles will have to be dis- 
covered before proper scientific description of these can be made. 
Perhaps a kind of periodic table of the principles governing systems of 
evolving complexity will be the next advance in scientific method.* 

Still one more characteristic of classical science is challenged by 
recent developments on numerous fronts, namely the idea that the 
objective world explored by the various scientific probes is essentially 
separate from and independent of the subjective experience of the 
investigator. The perturbation of the objective system by the act of 
observing shows up in particle physics as the Heisenberg Uncertainty 
Principle. It appears in biological and social science in the effects of 
experimenter expectations (Rosenthal, 1971; Orne, 1959) and in the 
Hawthorne effect (Roethlisberger and Dickson, 1939). It is most clearly 
to be encountered in the area of psychic research since if the psychic 
phenomena have any reality at all, the mind of the observer is most 
surely an ineradicable component of the experiment. 

Thus the limitations of science have had important consequences for 
the way in which the contents of science are defined. Only those aspects 

Henry Margenau offers additional comments in his discussion of "modified reduc- 
tionism" in Appendix C. 

Influence of Science on the "Image of Man" 75 

of reality that can slip through the various limitations end up included 
in the content of science. Science deals with a selected set of metaphors; 
other possible metaphors have in the past been excluded, whether 
because of reductionist bias or commitment to a peculiar concept of 
objectivity. The prevailing "image of man" intervenes in the scientific 
process by shaping the definition of both the research territory and 
interpretations of the results of scientific investigation. Contrariwise, 
the past orientation of science toward understanding of the physical 
world has contributed to a materialistic emphasis in the culture as a 

As we examine some of the contemporary scientific developments 
that challenge old scientific paradigms, it must be from the standpoint 
of this two-way interaction between the changing scientific paradigm 
and the societal image of man. It is not that either causes the other, but 
rather that they tend to move together. 


Challenges to the past paradigms of science, some old and some 
recent, appear in such diverse research frontiers as physics, biology, 
psychology, and parapsychology. Following are brief mentions of some 
of the most important. 

Modern Physics and Cosmology 

The modern revolution in physics began quietly: on February 21, 
1870 a 24-year-old named William Clifford suggested to the Cambridge 
Philosophical Society that a particle of matter was really nothing but a 
kind of hill in the geometry of space! In 1873, still believing in classical 
continuity, Maxwell published his equations describing the continuous 
nature of the electromagnetic field but later remarked, in a startling 
intuition of things to come: 

The study of the singularities and instabilities, rather than the continuities of 
things . . . may tend to remove that prejudice in favor of determinism which seems to 
arise from assuming that the physical science of the future is a mere magnified 
image of that of the past. 

The full meaning of that glimmer of the future began to erupt in 1900 
when Planck showed that energy was not emitted in a continuous 
fashion, became stronger in 1905 when Einstein proved that light came 
in packages called "quanta," and reached its final breach from the 
continuous dream when Bohr incorporated the fundamental dis- 
continuity in the universe into his model of the atom and eventually the 

76 Changing Images of Man 

Principle of Complementarity, suggesting that light could be both wave 
and particle. As John Wheeler succinctly put it (1971): "A sibyl seems to 
say, 'choose: paradox or nothing'." 

Einstein then promised a kind of continuity with his theory of 
General Relativity, ending the dichotomy of time and space, and 
suggesting not only that matter and energy share the same equation, 
but that gravity can also be included into a unified field theory. 
Suddenly the universe was pure geometry. As Margenau (1963) des- 
cribes it, matter simply dematerialized: "The hard and solid atom has 
become mostly empty space. Electrons . . . may indeed be points, 
mathematical singularities haunting space." 

Suddenly the universe became personal again. Bronowski (1973) 
describes it well: 

Einstein showed that the laws of physics are universal, that is, are formulated in the 
same terms by every observer, but only because he carries his own universe with him. 
Time as you measure it may be different from my time, mass as you measure it may 
be different from my mass, speed and momentum and energy may all be different; it 
is only the relations between them that remain the same for us both. Each of us rides 
his personal universe, his own travelling box of space and time, and all that they 
have in common is the same structure or coherence; when we formalize our 
experiences, they yield the same laws. 

And so, as Jeans (1973) remarked, "The universe begins to look more 
like a great thought than like a great machine," or as Eddington (1928) 
had put it, "The stuff of the world is mind stuff." 

At the forefront of physics today the real world recedes. As Edding- 
ton once remarked: 

In the world of physics we watch a shadowgraph performance of familiar life. The 
shadow of my elbow rests on the shadowtable as the shadow-ink flows over the 
shadow paper. . . . The frank realization that physical science is concerned with a 
world of shadows is one of the most significant of recent advances. 

Indeed everything has been found to be receding, for General Rela- 
tivity predicted that the universe itself is expanding, and by 1929 
Hubble had demonstrated it. Far from the limited Copernican vision, 
now we know that we are part of an immense galaxy of about 100,000 
million stars, arranged in a disc-shaped spiral 100,000 light years in 
diameter, about three-fifths of the way out from the center of the disc, 
and moving further out at a mere 35 kilometers per second. The 
"edge" of the universe is now billions of light years away and full of 
strange wonders: quasars, pulsars, and black holes. And even stranger, 
though logical, postulates of antimatter, time flowing backwards, nega- 
tive mass and particles travelling faster than the speed of light are part of 
the new tapestry. 

Influence of Science on the "Image of Man" 77 

It is a world full of logic stranger than dreams. Everett (1971) has 
suggested that just as in relativity where the passage of time is relative 
to the observer's frame of reference, in quantum mechanics, the visible 
outcome of an event is also relative to the observer. Thus all possible 
outcomes actually take place, but the observer can see only the one 
happening in his or her frame of reference. Physicist de Witt (1970) 
then argues: 

Every quantum transition taking place on every star, in every galaxy, in every remote 
corner of the universe, is splitting the local world on earth into myriads of copies of 

Many physicists have objected strongly to the notion of a universe 
containing myriads of three-dimensional Xeroxes of themselves. The 
idea is not idle speculation, however, but arises from the urgent need 
in modern physics to somehow unite quantum theory with general 
relativity.* 1 Physicist and Nobel laureate Eugene Wigner (1961) has 
suggested a role for human consciousness at the deepest levels of 
quantum reality; is he correct? We must wait and see, and perhaps 
remember Jung's admonishment: 

Space flights are merely an escape, a fleeing away from oneself, because it is easier to 
go to Mars or to the moon than it is to penetrate one's own being. 

Modern physics and cosmology have placed the human in a universe 
inestimably more rich and extraordinary than the mechanical vision 
ever prepared him for. Indeed, as LeShan (1969) has argued, the 
cosmic man of modern physics bears strong resemblance to the image 
of "man-in-universe" of Eastern philosophies. For this person, too, 
reality is apparent, dynamic, and inhabited by both harmony and 
strangeness. And if the extension of science is technology, and today 
we have the technology of the hard and solid matter of the nineteenth 
century, then what can possibly be the technology of matter trans- 
formed into curvature in space-timef 

* "And it seems to some that such union cannot be achieved unless the problem of 
consciousness, which appears in every act of measurement, is taken seriously and 
included in the theory." — Henry Margenau 

t "The (past) Faustian interpretation of (historical) time was subordinated to the will to 
power, symbolized by Newtonian mechanics which treated bodies moving in space as 
inert recipients of energy. The (present) Riemannian space-time of the Leibnitzian 
culture has a strong Chinese tinge: fields of forces compose the extension of the 
universe which displays a curvilinear 'infinity'." — Roland Fischer 

78 Changing Images of Man 

Other Physical Sciences 

While several areas of the physical sciences impinge on questions 
relating to images, two of the strongest impacts come from ther- 
modynamics and the computer sciences generally. 

The concept of entropy emerged from the study of thermodynamics 
in the nineteenth century. The Second Law of Thermodynamics says 
that isolated systems naturally tend toward a state of maximum dis- 
order, and so the universe must inevitably "run down." Our ultimate 
fate then became invasion by chaos, and since this was a law of nature, 
there was nothing that could be done. The human being and life are 
therefore insignificant since there is no larger process toward which 
humankind can evolve if the physical universe is decaying. 

The concept still holds sway, though it has been noticed that it is not 
applicable to living systems; Huxley (1963) and others suggested that 
life violated the Second Law of Thermodynamics. Now we know that 
living systems exist under different conditions. Entropy was defined for 
closed, equilibrium systems cut off from their surroundings and un- 
perturbed by external forces. Living systems are open and far from 
equilibrium, exchanging material with their environments. Damnation 
by the Second Law is therefore not quite so total, and as the charac- 
teristics of complex systems become more apparent, the operation of 
the Second Law may be seen to be even more restricted. The present 
situation in physics, where absolute certainty is no longer possible, 
should warn us that total commitment to the scientific paradigm of 
knowledge can place us in the position of accepting a deprived concept 
of reality, which clearly has never been the intention of science. 

Similarly, the earlier mechanistic view of cybernetics — that "the brain 
is merely a meat machine" — is rapidly giving way to the less restrictive 
notion of the computer as an extension of the human nervous system. 
McLuhan believes that computer systems will be used to "augment" 
human intellect, just as cultural forces augment the individual's abilities 
(Englebart, 1973). An example of this process is the use of the com- 
puter to open up new and creative possibilities in the modern arts, 
described by Youngblood (1970). 

Chapanis (1970) stresses that the difficulties in harmonizing the 
man-machine interface, which used to be attributed to the limits of 
man, can just as well be regarded as the limited abilities of the machine. 
Though man's calculating rate is slow, subject to error and fatigue, 
machine systems have more difficulty correcting their mistakes, have very 
limited methods and choices of action, and are so far incapable of forming 
hypotheses. More and more effort is being directed toward making the 
computer accommodate to the man rather than the other way around. 

Influence of Science on the "Image of Man" 79 

Attempts to create "artificial intelligence," which Minsky (1968) des- 
cribes as "the science of making machines do things that would require 
intelligence if done by men," have so far resulted in computers being 
taught to play chess, simulate proofs of mathematical theorems, and 
to "understand" simple English, though not yet in a fashion exceeding 
human capability (Newell, 1969). Present work at Stanford and MIT is 
focused on developing more sophisticated robots. Goedel's theorem, 
mentioned earlier (page 72), indicates, however, that machine systems 
can never be conscious of themselves except by reference to another 
machine. Human consciousness is conscious of itself as a unity and 
seems to have properties that can never be created artificially. 

In 1923 J. B. S. Haldane predicted that although physics was then the 
major center of scientific interest, this century would be remembered 
as the century of biology. Surveys of the current trends in scientific 
literature (Garfield, 1972) now confirm Haldane's prediction. 

Humans as Species. Much of the early significant work in biology con- 
cerned the human as a species. While many of the old theories have 
been discarded or modified, there are a number of important new 
concepts which affect man's relationship to others of his species, to the 
environment as a whole, and this place in the evolutionary scheme. 

In population biology, for example, extensive studies into the 
dynamics governing human population growth indicated that 
humankind is on the brink of discovering that it is also bound by the 
S-shaped sigmoid curve governing the growth characteristics of so 
many other species (Salk, 1973). As noted earlier (see Fig. 6), the values 
governing the first part of the curve where the survival of the species 
depends on the survival of the individual (competition, survival of the 
fittest) must be different from those governing the second part of the 
curve, where the survival of the species depends on the behavior of the 
whole species (cooperation, survival of the wisest). The complex ques- 
tions surrounding the population problem have been discussed by 
many authors (e.g. Ehrlich, 1970; Commoner, 1971). Clearly the main 
impetus for these studies is the need for man to evolve to a systematic 
image of his being, considerate of the survival of the whole species. 

Closely allied to these developments are ecological studies. The latter 
have radically changed the image of the human as conqueror of nature 
to a sense of being in cooperation with nature. The growth ethic has 
been challenged (Meadows, 1972); our attempts to dominate nature 
have been criticized (Commoner, 1971); our role as augmenter of 
nature has been stressed in several ways (Dubos, 1973; Salk, 1972; 
Fuller, 1969; Laszlo, 1972). Again the need for viable systems- 
oriented images is the main finding of these studies. Further, they have 

80 Changing Images of Man 

stressed the interdependence of humankind's existence and that of 
other species, as well as the environment as a whole. As Handler (1970) 
states it: 

Undoubtedly more species than anyone now realizes are essential for man's survival 
and welfare. For both beneficial and harmful types, we need to know the physical 
and chemical conditions under which they can survive and reproduce, the extent to 
which they can adjust to change, the optimum conditions for survival and reproduction. 

The need to protect the stability and diversity of all species of flora and 
fauna has emerged into heightened popular awareness as a result both of 
these studies and of the emergencies caused by industrial mismanage- 
ment globally. 

Similarly, evolutionary theory has now developed to the point where 
it extends all the way from the realm of all species down to the 
molecular/atomic level. The interrelationship of all species as an evolv- 
ing whole was first proposed by Darwin in 1859. Mendel's discovery of 
the gene allowed the elaboration of the mechanism of heredity, while 
the discovery of DNA as the carrier of information in the gene 
(Watson, 1953) extended our knowledge of the process into the domain 
of the very small. 

These findings led to a renewed debate about the role of chance and 
determinism in evolution, since only statistical description of events at 
the atomic level is possible. As a result, some scientists concluded that 
genetic change can occur only by the mechanism of random mutation. 
"Chance alone is at the source of every innovation, of all creation in the 
biosphere" (Monod, 1971). This image of the human species as the 
victim of mere chance places man in an absurd role — most scientists 
would see something more operative. Waddington (1969) explains that 
the inert gene, as it moves toward the process of becoming an 
organism, passes through a series of steps, many of which are 
influenced by both the molecular and organismic environment. Thus in 
the emergence of the organism, order is imposed on the initial ran- 
domness. Weiss (1969) shows how there exists "determinacy in the 
gross despite demonstrable interdeterminacy in the small." 

Thus both chance and determinism are involved at least (perhaps 
consciousness as well) and the systems developed by evolution become 
the crucibles of a creative process (Dobzhansky, 1971). The trend of 
evolution is seen as being toward systems of ever greater complexity 
and sophistication. In our species, particularly, culture is an interven- 
ing factor (von Foerster, 1971): 

Culture, as a manifestation of man's effective and symbolic behavior, is at the same 
time cause and effect of man's genetic constitution. As cause, it determines the 
mechanisms of natural selection in his self-made ecology; as effect, it is determined 
by the creative processes that can be mastered by his biological constitution. 

Influence of Science on the "Image of Man" 81 

Dubos (1967) points out that the human's biology is now basically stable 
while the human psyche may be said to be rapidly evolving,* and as 
Huxley (1947) suggests: 

Since in the process of evolution, values emerge, they must be taken into account by 
the scientist. We find values not merely emerging from the evolutionary process, but 
playing an active part in its latest phase. 

von Foerster (1971) then suggests that "The superior survival value of 
brains exchanging experience and thought will favor the evolution of 
this organ." Earlier, Teilhard de Chardin (1959) had noted that 
"Evolution is an ascent towards consciousness." The human is regar- 
ded as being at the very forefront of this process, the growing tip as it 
were. Thus the forces and counterforces of chance and determinism 
become poised in a delicate balance, with our species as one of the 
"rare spearheads ... or trustees ... of advance in the cosmic process of 
evolution" (Huxley, 1963). 

While it is still too early to say which of these hypotheses will prove 
most useful, it is clear that evolutionary theory is, and will probably 
remain, at the heart of humankind's image of itself. 

Molecular Biology and Genetics. The unfolding of the sciences of the 
human as a biological entity has created several major shifts in the 
image of humankind. Even if all the physical principles necessary for 
the complete description of the biological system are not yet with us 
(Elsasser, 1966), it now seems clear that the basic unit of life is the cell 
and that its information is largely, if not completely, carried in the 
DNA which makes up its genes. This totally physical description of the 
living system has threatened the "vitalist" philosophies which main- 
tained that the living entity was possessed of some special non-physical 
component. As Hayes (1971) remarks: 

There can be no doubt that this new vision of ourselves as merely the very complex, 
and perhaps even predictable, end-product of an exclusively macromolecular evolu- 
tion will exert as profound an effect on our social, ethical and political attitudes as 
have the enlightenment of Darwin and Freud. 

This gives rise to what Dubos (1968) terms "biological freudianism." 
However, perhaps there need be no conflict between the two notions, 
on the one hand that heredity determines the characteristics of the 

* "Your image of psychically evolving humankind is, I think, incorrect." — Elise Boulding 

As Dr. Boulding's reasons for holding this view are too lengthy to include here as a 
footnote, and as they pertain to various other sections of this report, they are included as 
Appendix A. 

82 Changing Images of Man 

adult human being, and on the other, that the environmental 
experiences of early life exert a shaping influence — the nature versus 
nurture argument. The conflict is apparently resolved in the view that 
the genes provide potential which is modulated by environment. 
However, the persistence of the concept of karma in the doctrines of 
the East suggests that future scientific metaphors may include still 
other influences. 

The notions of genetic "engineering," cloning, and the like have 
provided new impetus to the old visions of eugenics and the "im- 
provement" of human stock. The relationship between genetics and 
"intelligence" is currently controversial but is not in itself a new idea. 
However, with genetic engineering, all of human nature would be in 
some sense apparently subject to human choice. This concept could 
potentially have a most profound impact on the human self-image. 

Exobiology/ Origin of Life. From studies of the origin of life and the 
principles of extraterrestrial biology (exobiology) come clear images of 
our cosmic origin, even though they are in terms of our physical being. 
The fusion of these two areas brings the first glimpse of a cosmological 
biology, as Bernal (1965) first outlined it: 

A true biology in the full sense would be the study of the nature and activity of all 
organized objects wherever they were to be found on this planet and others in the 
solar system, in other galaxies and at all times future and past. 

Studies of the self-organizing properties of elemental chemical systems 
by Miller (1963) and Fox (1970) have shown how the amino-acid 
building blocks of life form spontaneously in primordial mixtures and 
naturally give rise to more complex forms. The knowledge that be- 
tween the planet's formation and the first emergence of simple life 
forms, meteors brought 335 million tons of these same amino acids to 
earth clearly lends substance to Oistraker's remark (1973): "Atoms in 
your body have been through several stars — they were ejected many 
times as gas from exploding stars." 

Increased understanding of the origin of life can only augment our 
search for other kinds of life amongst the estimated hundreds of 
millions of inhabitable planets in our galaxy alone (Dole, 1964). Indeed, 
the beginnings of active research into the possibility of extraterrestrial 
intelligence (Handler, 1970) suggest a new sense of continuity of life. 
Though the problems are formidable, the near future will see, if 
present trends continue, a significant increase in information on the 
origin of life which will be "of prime relevance to the most profound 
and ancient biological and philosophical questions of human 

Influence of Science on the ''Image of Man" 83 

civilization . . . partial answers (to which) . . . have given rise to various 
religious, philosophical and political systems" (Handler, 1970). 

Brain Research. Research in brain function is one of the most rapidly 
expanding frontiers of modern science. The tools of almost every 
major discipline are being used and the vital need for integration of 
the sciences may be realized through our attempts to study our own 
mental functions. 

In contrast to other areas of biology, the early study of the brain had 
a strongly electrical orientation; by 1791 it was known that the brain was 
electrically excitable and by 1932 the well-organized motor effects and 
emotional responses in conscious animals had been created by electrical 
stimulation (Galvani, 1791; Fritsch, 1870; Hess, 1932). We know now 
that the brain possesses the most efficient signal-detection scheme 
known (Trehub, 1971). The work of Hess, Penfield, and Olds involving 
the implantation of electrodes to create signals internally has allowed 
the mapping of large portions of the brain. Control of psychological 
phenomena and stimulation of memory have resulted from this work. 
As Delgado (1969) describes it: 

Autonomic and somatic functions, individual and social behavior, emotional and 
mental reactions may be evoked, maintained, modified or inhibited, both in animals 
and in man, by electrical stimulation of specific cerebral structures. Physical control 
of many brain functions is a demonstrated fact but the possibilities and limits of this 
control are still unknown. 

Of no less importance has been the recent emergence of some 
detailed knowledge of the chemistry of brain function. Results have 
indicated that malnutrition can cause serious damage to the developing 
brain, and so many of the poor are doubly disadvantaged. Theories 
suggesting that chemical processes in the brain (RNA and protein 
synthesis) are involved in learning and memory have raised the pos- 
sibility of chemically improving these functions in the human — though 
this is still controversial and definite conclusions have yet to emerge. 
Highly purified genetic strains of mice have been isolated and shown to 
have markedly different learning abilities for laboratory tasks, suggest- 
ing that at least some kinds of genetic differences can affect memory 
and learning. Many mind-altering substances have been discovered 
with effects ranging from hallucination to tranquillization and trance. 
Such developments led Kenneth Clark, as President of the American 
Psychological Association, to suggest in 1971: 

We might be on the threshold of that type of scientific, biochemical intervention 
which could stabilize and make dominant the moral and ethical propensities of man 
and subordinate, if not eliminate, his negative and primitive tendencies. 

84 Changing Images of Man 

Clark proposed the development of chemically based "psychotech- 
nologies" (primarily to bring control over the tendencies of national 
leaders, in an attempt to lower the possibility of nuclear war). Delgado 
has urged the development of a "psycho-civilized" society such that 
dangerous behavior in man can be modified by electrical stimulation of 
the brain. Thus certain areas of modern brain research clearly raise 
profound moral questions which, if unresolved, might propel civiliza- 
tion toward Brave New World and 1984. The issue has been raised, 
whether the control of the brain made possible by electrical stimulation 
of the brain (ESB) is essentially different from placing the individual in a 
prison, where the prison bars, instead of being iron rods, are a complex of 
metal electrodes wired into a computer. Delgado (1969) believes that such 
questions are still premature: 

This Orwellian possibility may provide a good plot for a novel but fortunately it is 
beyond the theoretical and practical limits of ESB. By means of ESB we cannot 
substitute one personality for another, nor can we make a behaving robot of a 
human being. It is true that we can influence emotional reactivity and perhaps make a 
patient more aggressive or amorous, but in each case the details of behavioral 
expression are related to an individual history which cannot be created by ESB. 

A completely different line of investigation is split-brain research. 

The data indicate that the part of the brain which talks, uses 
language, engages in logical problem-solving, and reads this page is the 
left-hand side. Experiments have shown that split-brain patients who 
have lost the use of this left hemisphere have no verbal output and 
cannot express perceptions. The other side of the brain functions 
differently, being primarily responsible for our orientation in space, 
body image, recognition of faces; it processes information more 
diffusely and can integrate information more readily. If the left side is 
analytic and reductionist, then the right is more holistic and integrative. 
Bogen (1973) calls the left hemisphere the "propositional" mind and 
the right the "appositional" mind. He suggests that investigation of the 
"appositional" mind, or right hemisphere, may lead to the discovery of 
new forms of communication (which may not be language), better 
suited to dealing with both our evolutionary heritage and our on-going 
experience of the universe in holistic terms. 

Sperry (1967) notes that this functional asymmetry of the brain is 
apparently unique to higher mammals and most emphasized in man. 
Bogen (1973) suggests that if the right hemisphere is dominant for 
certain higher functions, we may suppose there might be others, and 
that perhaps every higher function is distributed unequally between 

Influence of Science on the "Image of Man" 85 

the hemispheres.* In normal humans, the two are connected and some 
information is passed from one hemisphere to the other. Scientists are 
only beginning to explore the complex interrelationship of the two 
minds of man. Perhaps Einstein's term for creative thought — "com- 
binatory play" — will prove prophetic of future research findings. Split- 
brain research is leading toward more understanding of what Polanyi 
(1964) terms "tacit knowledge:" Our tacit powers decide our adherence 
to a particular culture and sustain our intellectual, artistic, civic and 
religious deployment within its framework. By forming and assimila- 
tion of an articulate framework these tacit powers kindle a multitude of 
new intellectual passions. 

Piatt (1970) reminds us that: "Perception is the first thing we 
experience and the last thing we understand. It is the beginning of 
knowledge and also, in some sense, the end of it." In the end, 
perception is a personal phenomenon and it may not be possible to 
"objectify" it without limit. Physicists investigating the physical uni- 
verse found that beyond a certain point of refinement of matter, there 
is a limitation of relativity and uncertainty on the objective knowledge 
principle. Brain research today may be approaching a similar limit 
imposed by what Delgado (1969) terms "psychological relativity." The 
Newtonian concept of centers in the brain governing various activities 
ceases to be valid beyond a certain level of complexity in investigation. 
Beyond that point, and particularly when it comes to higher mental 
functions, the picture tends to blur. 

The development of biofeedback techniques in the past decade 
(described later) has brought another important research tool into this 
same area. In the West it had been considered that those aspects of our 
bodily functions which could be brought under voluntary control were 
strictly delimited by the division between the sympathetic and 
autonomic nervous systems. This assumption was in sharp contrast to 
the Eastern view which held that any bodily function could be con- 
sciously modified at will. Miller (1971) and Kamiya (1969) have now 
shown that the latter view is largely correct; that the individual pro- 

"There are historical 'consequences' to the shifting of epochs: swinging from the 
digital (left, rational) to the analog (right, symbolic) hemisphere! In the past 2,000 
years, the pendulum has swung twice from analog to digital and back, and it is now 
swinging towards the analog for the third time. Perhaps we have just about passed the 
point more than halfway. The great outburst of creative activity which marked the first 
few decades of the century may be viewed as resulting from an interhemispheric 
integration of the digital and the analog Zeitgeist. Apparently, artistic and scientific 
creativity reach maximum at a point midway between a digital and a subsequent analog 
epoch." — Roland Fischer 

86 Changing Images of Man 

vided with feedback has the ability to become conscious of, and in a 
limited way modify, the activities of both his own brain and the rest of 
his body. This development represents an important shift away from 
the "robotomorphic" images presented by ESB research and the 
chemical domination of mind suggested by Clark. 

Split-brain research has directly challenged the unitary mind 
concept, and we now know that the total number of possible states of 
the brain can be given only by a number of truly astronomical propor- 
tions — according to Anokhin (1971), a one followed by a line of zeros 
stretching out into space 24 times the distance from the earth to the 
moon! No wonder that to some, the brain has begun to look like an 
enormous hologram (Pribram, 1971). As physicist Weisskopf remarks 

The deeper we penetrate into the complexity of living organisms, into the structure 
of matter, or into the vast expanses of the universe, the closer we get to the essential 
problems of Natural Philosophy. How does a growing organism develop its complex 
structure? What is the significance of the particles and subparticles of which matter is 
composed? What is the structure and history of the Universe? 

Biological Rhythms and Bioelectric Fields. Modern biology has 
developed an understanding of man centered largely around a chem- 
ical paradigm. In recent decades, however, more attention has been 
given to the complementary electrical aspect of biological functioning 
(Presman, 1970) and as a result, factors that were previously regarded 
as unimportant have been recognized as significant. For example, 
certain low-level radiation has now been found to affect adversely 
important parameters of human functioning such as reaction time, 
mood, and the rates of biological processes (Adey, 1972; Colquhoun, 
1971; Krueger, 1973; Fischer, 1966). Becker (1963) has correlated 
frequency of admissions to mental hospitals with geomagnetic fluctua- 

The combined body of this work suggests that (1) the electrical 
environment of man is just as important as the chemical, (2) inattention 
to this environment adversely affects a significant (though undeter- 
mined) segment of the population, who may end up being treated as 
"mentally ill" when the problem may be an electrically imbalanced 
environment. It is only recently that some action has been taken to 
investigate this whole question of "electromagnetic pollution" and 
clearly, a vast amount of work remains to be done (Healer, 1970). 

Research into the effects of various kinds of fields and electrical 
currents on biological organisms had led to improved rates of healing 
(Becker, 1971) and apparently more effective control of pain, as well as 
correlations between the electrical environment and the incidence of 

Influence of Science on the "Image of Man" 87 

various diseases (Barnothy, 1971). Many of these field phenomena are 
rhythmic in nature, affecting and being affected by weather patterns 
for example, and there is a new surge of interest in the investigation of 
biological rhythms and their significance for the human being (Luce, 
1971). As a result, the highly rhythmic nature of many aspects of 
human functioning is becoming clear and the combination of these two 
areas of research is beginning to present a view which more closely 
resembles that of the old astrologers, with their emphasis on the 
importance of the cosmic environment for human affairs, than the 
more conventional view wherein the immediate chemical environment 
of the organism is considered paramount. 

On a larger scale, the strongly rhythmic patterns of many phases of 
societal phenomena, such as war and conflict, create the desire to 
understand causal factors for them on a much wider scale than pre- 
viously considered reasonable. This suggests to some the Aristotelian 
image of the universe itself as a sort of organism — the "cosmobiological 
conception of nature." At the fringes of these developments lies the 
recent research into the old Eastern technique of acupuncture, based 
on such concepts as "energy flow" and a more field-oriented approach 
to the human organism. It may be that reorientation toward the "field 
approach" may serve to bring the biological view of humans more 
closely in line with the Eastern view, which holds that the individual is 
essentially part of the cosmic evolutionary process. 

Consciousness Research 

Science has been concerned with the relationship of things to one 
another and not to ourselves (Lonergan, 1957). However, it is our 
consciousness that perceives relationships, even when science has erec- 
ted an interface of instruments between reality and the observer. The 
important anchor point of the observer has been often overlooked. 
Chaitanya (1972) notes that: 

It was soon forgotten that to describe experience completely, one had to mention the 
consciousness looking out as well as the universe which was seen when it looked 

In Western science it has been generally assumed that the conscious- 
ness involved in scientific observation should only be of the kind that 
produces objective knowledge. In recent years, however, there has 
been increased scientific interest in consciousness as such, in the rela- 
tions between physical states and consciousness, and in the ways altered 

88 Changing Images of Man 

states of awareness can affect perception, thinking, feelings, and 
behavior. Researchers from psychology, neurology, and many other 
disciplines are studying sleep and dreaming, meditation, brain-wave 
control, yoga, hypnosis, and other states of consciousness. These stu- 
dies indicate that not only does man have rarely used potentials which 
can be learned, but that elements of these states are more common 
than previously thought and their influence on perception is such that 
the world seen by them differs in many respects from that characteriz- 
ing "normal" consciousness. As the visible light band is a minute part 
of the total electromagnetic spectrum, so "normal" human conscious- 
ness is showing up to be a small portion of total human awareness. 

It is becoming clear that many altered states of consciousness and 
other topics can be brought into the realm of scientific inquiry. Many of 
these subjective states or phenomena were originally classified as reli- 
gious or mystical in nature, and hence excluded from scientific study as 
not being objective, physicalistic, or subject to general observation. 
These attitudes are changing, first because the breakdown of sub- 
jective-objective dichotomies is demonstrating the importance of con- 
sciousness, and second because technological developments have made 
it possible to discover physiological correlates of subjective states — 
dreams, for example, can now be detected and monitored through 
rapid eye movements (REM) and EEG recordings. As a result of such 
advances, these former topics of mysticism are moving into the domain 
of scientific verification and exploration. 

Hypnosis. Major scientific research into the nature and characteristics 
of hypnosis has increased rapidly in the last decade. The state of 
hypnosis is still not well understood, but it can be defined as a state of 
mind usually induced by another person, which involves control over 
attention and also communication with parts of the mind usually 
outside of awareness, such as memory, subconscious processes, and 
physical control of the body. The hypnotized person's usual structure 
of reality recedes, enabling him to have intense absorption in one facet 
of awareness. 

Present research indicates that many affects are possible through 
suggestion in the hypnotic state: control of pain, enhanced memory 
and mental abilities, changes in motivation and emotion, changes in 
habits, increases in creativity, and control over physical processes, 
including blood flow and treatment of many diseases (Weitzenhoffer, 
1953; Hilgard, 1965; Krippner, 1969). 

It appears likely that most phenomena which can be evoked by a 
hypnotic suggestion from a hypnotist can also be done by an individual 
himself, through self-hypnosis and self-suggestion (Sparks, 1962). The 

Influence of Science on the "Image of Man" 89 

technique is one which can be learned individually and in groups. An 
example of this is the technique called "autogenic training" developed 
by Schultz and Luthe (Luthe, 1969) which uses self-suggestion exercises 
for therapeutic medical treatments, e.g. relaxation, increasing blood 
flow to hands and feet, creating mental calmness. 

Researchers are finding that deep states of hypnosis are not neces- 
sary for many of the affects to be produced, so it is likely that 
self-hypnosis and self-suggestion can be used by a great many persons 
in our society. The list of potential uses of hypnosis is extensive and 
impressive, and one may wonder why hypnosis is not used more 
extensively and more frequently. 

One partial answer is that we do not have a paradigm, in medicine 
or in our culture, within which hypnosis can be understood and used 
consistently and responsibly. Our medicine is based on the manipula- 
tion of material processes through material means: drugs, surgical 
intervention, diagnostic tests. So strong is the preference for physical 
means of treatment that psychophysical processes are fringe areas: 
psychosomatic ills, the neuroses, and mental conditions and treated 
frequently with drugs, placebos, or psychosurgery, instead of through 
psychological methods. With a supportive psychological and experiential 
context, in which hypnosis is considered normal and useful, leading to 
autonomy and self-control, its potential would be more likely to be 
accepted, explored, and used. 

Biofeedback. Many of the results obtained through hypnosis — volun- 
tary control of a wide variety of internal states — can also be achieved 
through biofeedback training (BFT). This is a technique of giving a 
person precise and immediate feedback on a particular physical process 
as it occurs. The most widely known BFT has been applied to the 
control of brain waves. In a procedure devised by Kamiya (1969), an 
electroencephalograph is used to monitor a person's brain waves and 
arranged to sound a tone whenever alpha frequencies (8-14 cps) occur 
in the brain. The subject is instructed to note how he is thinking when 
the tone sounds and to try to keep the tone sounding. With this 
feedback, many individuals learn to increase the proportion of alpha 
waves in their brain, often within a few hours. 

As we noted earlier, this kind of control was always thought to be 
impossible in the West. The pioneering work of Kamiya (1969) and 
Miller (1971) changed this belief: the physical processes that have so far 
proved amenable to learned voluntary control include brain waves 
(alpha and theta frequencies), heart rate, blood pressure, body and skin 
temperature, muscle relaxation, and even the electrical activity of single 
cells in the spinal cord (Barber, 1971). 

90 Changing Images of Man 

The consequences of this development for the individual's ability to 
learn the full range of controls that are possible over the activity of his 
own brain have been mentioned earlier. Some preliminary reports 
from this research indicate that such control is established through a 
different kind of conscious volition, a "passive volition." This may 
change the ways in which knowledge gained in these states can be 
processed or used.* A less appreciated aspect of this new technology is 
that it can allow the person to become more specifically sensitive to the 
effects of changes in his environment, normally unnoticed and occur- 
ring as a result of changes emanating from remote locations, e.g. the 
effects of changes in the magnetic and electromagnetic environment on 
reaction time and the generation of hypertension (Presman, 1970). The 
psychosomatic basis for many diseases may also be explo'red in a more 
dispassionate way, allowing the patient to become aware of the full 
situation surrounding illness. This could have significant consequences 
in overall mental stability and the sense of self-responsibility in the 

Dreaming. This is the most common altered state of consciousness 
that people experience. Dreams have been a subject of interest from 
early times and have often been associated with precognitive 
experiences and creative experiences of all kinds. Freud concluded that 
dreams were images created by the subconscious to express emotions, 
desires, and feelings, chiefly as wish fulfillments (cf. Freud, 1950). 
Others have found that dreams present trial solutions to problems, 
show images and goals, and dramatize themes and patterns from 
waking life. Jung suggested that they represent contact with the basic 
archetypal images which are also expressed in myths. 

About two decades ago researchers discovered that when a sleeping 
person dreams, his eyes move under his closed lids (Aserinsky and 
Kleitman, 1955). This discovery, simple though it was, made it possible 
to get recall of a person's dreams during the night by simply waking 
him or her during rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, rather than 
relying on his spotty recall the morning after. Once the correlation was 
made, then a study of EEG patterns revealed that dreaming went in 
cycles through the night, with the length of dream time increasing 
toward morning. The conclusion is clear that although dreams occur to 
everyone, for some individuals they are not accessible to conscious 
memory in the morning. 

* See Elise Boulding's remarks in Appendix A regarding self-hypnosis and "mind 
games" which use passive volition. 

Influence of Science on the "Image of Man" 91 

Interest in dreams and dream consciousness cuts across several fields. 
Psychotherapists are exploring the meanings and uses of dreams for 
the individual's personality, life problems, and growth needs (Freud, 
1950; Perls, 1969; Martin, 1955; Faraday, 1972). Researchers in 
neurology and psychophysiology are studying the mechanisms of 
dream production and the function of dreams for the mental health of 
the individual. The possibility of controlling or guiding dreams is being 
explored by researchers in consciousness (Tart, 1969, 1970; Witkin, 
1969; Casteneda, 1972) and others have studied the relation of dreams 
to ESP (Dunne, 1939; Ullman and Krippner, 1970). The findings from 
this research suggest that humans have extensive and important dream 
lives, which contributes to their psychological, emotional, and physical 
health, and that their dreams can be used for their benefit in a number 
of ways: 

Dreaming is essential for mental health, and dream deprivation results in detrimen- 
tal psychological effects. 

Actions, plots, and themes of dreams can to some extent be controlled. 
Solutions to personal or practical problems can be produced in dreams. 
Literary and artistic creations can be developed through dreams. 
Emotional conflicts and needs can be communicated through dreams. 
Different parts of the personality can communicate through dreams. 
Integrative and positive personality images can occur in dreams. 
Telepathic and precognitive information can be received and expressed in dreams. 
"Waking consciousness" can be maintained in some dreams. 

Telepathic, predictive, and other apparent ESP messages may occur in dreams. (See 
the later section in parapsychology.) 

Meditation. Though interest in meditational practices has increased 
markedly in the West during the past decade, some of the techniques 
themselves are thousands of years old, being drawn from classical 
traditions of mysticism, religious practices, and methods of self-under- 
standing. There are two general types of meditation. In one, the 
individual gathers his attention on an object, a thought, a sound, or 
some other internal or external sensation, with the goal of merging 
with that object. In the second technique, the meditator clears his mind 
so that he is empty of thoughts, ideas, feelings, sensations, or "pro- 
grams." Whichever technique is used it must be learned and practiced 
if it is to have any effect. 

The limited amount of scientific research that has been done in- 
dicates that meditation results in lowered rates of metabolism, respira- 
tion, blood flow and oxygen consumption, increased alpha waves in 
the brain, and increased relaxation (Wallace, 1970). The psychological 
effects include a vast range of reported phenomena, such as: recall of 
experiences, abilities to shut out distractions, changes in color or shape 

92 Changing Images of Man 

of objects, and feelings of relaxation or peace (Deikman, 1963; Tart, 

Also there is some evidence that different methods of meditation 
produce different results that are consistent with the goals of the 
practice. For example, EEG studies show that in Zen meditation, 
continual awareness of the external world is maintained (Kasamatsu 
and Hirai, 1966) while in Yoga meditation, external stimuli are ignored 
(Anand, Chhina, and Singh, 1961). Each of these is appropriate to the 
intention — to remain aware of the outside world in Zen, and to with- 
draw from it in Yoga. 

Psychologically, some meditators experience the world transcen- 
dentally following meditation, seeing it as fresh, new, and often more 
brightly colored. This kind of transfiguration (reported in Deikman, 
1963) is similar to reports of experiences by religious mystics, and 
indicates that meditation may give individual insights into parts of 
awareness which are deeper than normal everyday consciousness. 

Psychedelic Drugs. In the last 15 years there has been increased 
interest in chemical substances that change the quality and charac- 
teristics of normal everyday consciousness, particularly through such 
drugs as lysergic acid, mescaline, psilocybin, and others. These drugs, 
referred to as psychedelics, hallucinogens, or psychoactive chemicals, 
expand or contract the field of consciousness; they seem capable of 
enhancing perceptions and sensations, giving access to memories and 
past experiences, facilitating mental activity, and producing changes in 
the level of consciousness, including what are reported as transcendent 
experiences of a religious or cosmic nature (Masters and Houston, 

Although uncontrolled and illegal drug use in the United States has 
hampered scientific research, psychoactive substances seem to have 
many potential uses if used under proper conditions* (Masters and 
Houston, 1966; Aaronson and Osmond, 1970; Krippner in Tart, 1969). 

• Psychotherapy using psychedelic chemicals has had remarkable success. 

• Some studies have shown that creativity can be enhanced, at least in artists and creative 

• Therapeutic sessions using psychedelic drugs with patients suffering terminal dis- 
eases have resulted in less pain and apprehension regarding death. 

"Psychoactive substances have many potential uses — and misuses. (See Wayne O. Evans 
and Nathan S. Kline, Psychotropic Drugs in the Year 2000. Charles C. Thomas, 1971.) It is 
irresponsible to wax enthusiastic about the potential of drugs without also cautioning 
about the many problems that they are causing." — Michael Marien. 

Influence of Science on the "Image of Man" 93 

• Transcendent, religious, or "cosmic" experiences occur to some. 

• Hyperawareness of body states and physiological processes have been reported. 

• Some evidence indicates that parapsychological abilities may be enhanced. 

These potentials, as with those deriving from hypnosis, meditation, 
and other altered states of awareness, are subject to the conditions set 
by the individual through his personality and his expectations, the 
setting and context of the treatment, and the sophistication with which 
the particular drug is used. The potential of these techniques has not 
been fully explored, largely owing to a combination of the problems 
sometimes associated with their use in ill-suited conditions and an 
unfavorable societal attitude. 

Unconscious Processes and Subliminal Stimulation. The theory that parts 
of our thinking and mental processes are outside of our awareness is 
becoming accepted today. Initially called the subliminal self (Myers, 
1903) or the unconscious (Freud, 1950), the suggestion of unconscious 
processes first seemed in conflict with the image of rational man, in 
which the individual was regarded as fully conscious and rationally in 
charge of his thoughts and behavior. Now there is general realization 
that many mental processes take place outside of awareness, and these 
influence our actions, our thoughts, and our feelings. 

The notion that the senses could receive information below the 
normal thresholds for perception or awareness has also been the 
subject of controversy many times during this century. Laws prohibi- 
ting subliminal advertising were drawn up even when its actual exis- 
tence was being questioned by psychologists. Dixon (1972) has recently 
reexamined the whole question in a critical light and found that as 
measured against eight different experimental criteria, the 
phenomenon is real and has been found to affect at least eight different 
aspects of perception and behavior. 

The Superconscious. Freud's concept of the unconscious mind 
emphasized a pool of negative, emotion-ridden conflicts, and this 
notion has come to characterize the unconscious. Currently there are 
indications that a concept of a superconscious aspect of mind is emerg- 
ing. The superconscious is the name given to the creative, intuitive, 
inspiring aspects of mind, those which have positive and self-directing 
qualities (Assagioli, 1965; Aurobindo, 1971; Teilhard de Chardin, 1969). 
Like other mental activities that are outside of conscious awareness, it 
may be expressed in dreams, hunches, feelings, and intuitive "know- 
ings." At present the idea of a superconscious is scattered among a 
number of philosophers, psychologists, and other investigators of con- 

94 Changing Images of Man 

sciousness. If the concept is a viable one, it may coalesce with as much 
force and effect as did the earlier idea of unconscious processes. 

Toward a Science of Consciousness. Besides the study of specific states 
of consciousness, researchers are beginning to develop explanatory and 
descriptive theories regarding consciousness. Lilly (1972) hypothesizes 
that the mind (and body) is a human biocomputer, with programs and 
metaprograms which can be analyzed and altered. Muses (1972), a 
mathematician, describes consciousness mathematically by hypernum- 
bers. Tart (1971) considers states of consciousness as information- 
processing systems, with units such as memory, emotion, sense of 
identity, evaluation and decision, and awareness. Krippner (in White, 
1972) has listed twenty states of consciousness, with criteria to dis- 
tinguish each. Such theories require investigation and further 
development, but indicate that an investigation of consciousness and its 
alterations is scientifically feasible. 

Here we can summarize as follows: the extension of the scientific 
method to the study of consciousness itself has resulted in the 
identification of an increasing number of distinct states of conscious- 
ness, each with distinct characteristics through which reality may be 
experienced or interpreted. Tart (1972) suggests that the rules of 
correspondence which exist between "normal" consciousness and the 
"external" world should also be discovered between other states of 
consciousness and the realities "external" to them. This extension of 
the scientific method could, he suggests, greatly enhance science and 
the usual assumption of science that "our ordinary, normal, so-called 
rational state of consciousness is the best one for surviving on this 
planet and understanding the universe" (Tart, 1973). The con- 
sequences could be profound not only for science, by extending greatly 
the meaning of generalization for example, but also for the image of 
humankind. The image stemming from this research as a whole is 
basically one which overlaps with the image from evolutionary theory, 
wherein the course of evolution moves toward increasing complexity 
on the physical level and increasing awareness in the arena of con- 

Parapsychology and Psychic Research 

We come now to research on phenomena that violate the paradigms 
of physicality or causation, or that cannot be explained by the known 
laws of the universe. The four major divisions of this kind of research 
to date are as follows: 

Influence of Science on the "Image of Man" 95 

• Telepathy. The perception of another person's on-going mental activities without the 
use of any sensory means of communication. 

• Clairvoyance. The ability to know directly information or facts about events occur- 
ring in remote locations, without normal sensory means. 

• Precognition. The ability to know of events or happenings in the future without 
sensory or inferential means of knowing. 

• Psychokinesis (telekinesis). The movement of matter by non-physical means or direct 
mental influence over physical objects or systems.* 

The first three are often referred to collectively as psi phenomena, or 
extrasensory perception (ESP); psychokinesis is sometimes referred to 
under the rubric of psycho-energetic phenomena. The main task 
chosen by early workers in these areas was proof of the actual existence 
of the phenomena; the seemingly sporadic nature of their occurrence 
meant that the only proof which could be sought at the time was 
statistical in nature (Rhine, 1961). 

Margenau (1966) has suggested that the proper approach would be 
to attempt to find those conditions necessary to concentrate the 
phenomena sufficiently to ensure their reliable occurrence in a labora- 
tory situation. There are many indications that this is now possible, as 
more and more reliable data from scientific investigation are emerging 
about the occurrence and characteristics of these phenomena. We 
survey these findings briefly: 

• Altered states of consciousness, particularly those tending toward relaxation, facili- 
tate receiving ESP information. This has been found for the states of dreaming 
(Ullman and Krippner, 1970), deep relaxation (Brand and Brand, 1973), alpha brain 
wave states (Honorton, 1969), and hypnotic suggestions (Krippner, 1967). 

• Physical states and processes can be "induced" telepathically. In experiments with 
identical twins and also with unrelated persons, physical changes such as the rate of 
blood flow, electrical skin resistance, and brain wave patterns have been sent from 
one person to another (Dean, 1966; Tart in Ryzl, 1970; Duane and Behrendt, 1965). 

• Telepathy is more likely between persons who have mutual liking, or who have 
physical or emotional bonds (Anderson and White, 1956; Duane and Behrendt, 

• Emotions and emotional content can be transmitted telepathically. Moss (1969), for 
example, presented emotionally stimulating visual and musical sequences to senders, 
and percipients (the receivers) reported corresponding emotional feelings. 

• High motivation enhances psi phenomena (Rhine and Pratt, 1957). 

• Belief in extrasensory perception raises ESP scoring levels in laboratory experi- 
ments; disbelief lowers them (these are colloquially called sheep vs. goat experi- 
ments) (Schmeidler and McConnell, 1958; Palmer, 1971). 

• Telepathic or other psi information is often received subliminally, and gains access 
to the conscious mind through hunches, dreams, intuitions, and feelings (L. E. 
Rhine, 1961). 

"Of the 4 effects, most scientists have greatest reservation with respect to telekinesis — 
in spite of work at Boeing and in Russia. Telekinesis is also of least importance for the 
discussion that follows." — Henry Margenau 

96 Changing Images of Man 

• The information is often interpreted through the receiver's own frameworks of 
perception, rather than seen as it was sent. For example, the visual message of a 
boxing match may be translated into an image of an ocean with pounding waves; 
messages regarding street riots may be consciously perceived as relating to earth- 
quakes (Moss, 1969). 

• Scores on ESP tests have been correlated with several different personality charac- 
teristics (e.g. Kanthamani and Rao, 1973). 

• Psychokinetic effects have been demonstrated in the laboratory to affect quantum 
processes, mechanical and electronic systems, and falling dice and other objects 
(Adamenko, 1972; L. E. Rhine, 1970; Green, 1973; Ostrander and Schroeder, 1970). 

• Psychokinetic or paranormal physical effects are almost always small in laboratory 
experiments, but may be of large magnitude in real life situations, such as poltergeist 
phenomena — which may be caused in some cases by psychokinesis (L. E. Rhine, 
1970; Roll, 1970). 

• In experimental studies, the psychokinetic effect almost always shows a significant 
cyclic decline in strength over short time periods (L. E. Rhine, 1970). 

These findings are still scattered pieces of information, and as yet the 
field awaits an integrating theory or set of principles which will reveal 
lawful patterns. Scientists from disciplines other than psychology are 
entering the investigations of psychic phenomena, and this has 
widened the variety of search criteria being brought to bear on the 
issue. Just as the chemist knows that certain conditions of temperature, 
pressure, timing and concentration of chemicals are necessary for a 
reaction to yield a given product, modern psychic research is piecing 
together the complex pattern of conditions likely to enhance the 
occurrence of telepathy or precognition. 

Several new developments make these investigations more feasible 
now than they were in the past: 

It may be possible to train psychic abilities using techniques of immediate feedback 
to enhance the learning process (Targ and Hurt, 1972). 

Psychics have always referred to other modes of perception as part of their ability, 
e.g. the perception of "auras" or fields around the body as sources of information. 
Electronic instrumentation sensitive to minute changes in magnetic and other fields 
around the body can now be used in a biofeedback set-up to enhance these kinds of 
perception (Beal, 1973). 

Electronic instrumentation can further be used to detect and monitor psychophy- 
siological states which are correlated with psychic functioning (ASPR Newsletter, 

The use of gifted psychics in laboratory research is increasing. Many of these 
persons apparently have voluntary control of various parapsychological abilities 
(Green, 1972; Stanford Research Institute, 1973). 

Certain aspects of physics that were thought to logically prohibit most psychic 
phenomena are no longer held so rigidly. The classical formulations of the prin- 
ciples of causality and conservation of energy are not holding up in certain situations 
in quantum physics (Margenau, 1965) and thus physical theory is making room for 
some of the kinds of causality involved in psychic phenomena. 

Theories of the phenomena based on quantum mechanics and physics have begun to 
emerge; in one of these, the theoretical curve for the distribution of psychic abilities in 
populations closely matches experimental data (Walker, 1973). 

Influence of Science on the "Image of Man" 97 

In psychic research, where the theoretical issues are in many cases 
identical with the limits of physics, it is understandable that many 
relevant general models will come from physics. For example, attempts 
are being made to relate "hidden variable" theory in quantum 
mechanics, concepts of hypernumber and hyperspace, and theories of 
sub-atomic particles to a description of the physical world in such a 
way that it includes, at least theoretically, the information that can be 
the basis for psychic perception (Walker, 1973; Muses, 1972-3; Kozyrev, 
1968; Koestler, 1972). 

Impact of Psychic Research on Images of Humankind. The present form 
of science has based itself upon a particular kind of separation between 
subjective and objective realities, and has argued that its discovered 
laws make it so. This remained relatively unchallenged until the early 
twentieth century, when the deeper probing of science began to reveal 
a universe that renders objective knowledge impossible once a certain 
kind of highly responsive system is approached. As noted, this shows 
up particularly in physics — where the atomic level is so sensitive to the 
nature of the measurement necessary for the acquisition of objective 
knowledge that this knowledge becomes impossible to achieve. 

A similar phenomenon occurs in research on the human brain. Eccles 
(1970) has described the connection between events in the brain and 
energy transitions occurring at the subatomic level in atoms. His 
suggestion is that whole chains of actions and responses of the nervous 
system are capable of being initiated by tiny energy transitions occur- 
ring at the quantum level, since the brain possesses cells which can be 
affected by these very small energy transitions, cells whose firing can 
trigger other whole sets of neurons. This interface between quantum 
mechanics and brain research will no doubt be one of the vital growing 
areas of science in the future, and may overlap present inquiries in 
psychic research in important ways. 

It is of course at the level of information itself that all theories, 
whether physical, biological, or psychological, must fuse. All the issues 
involved, however, seem to hinge upon the relationship between the 
physical world and that of consciousness, and it is this relationship that 
is "on trial" when psychic phenomena are debated. 

An important aspect of this relationship is the demonstration that the 
body is sensitive to many more than the several classes of stimuli in 
normal sensory perception. In subliminal perception the presentation 
is such that the threshold of perception for the sense modality being 
tested is never reached, and yet evidence clearly shows that information 
is transferred. Dixon (1972) concludes that subliminal stimulation has 
been shown to affect dreams, memory, adaptation level, conscious 

98 Changing Images of Man 

perception, verbal behavior, emotional responses, drive-related 
behavior, and perceptual thresholds. Thus subliminal perception 
research has been held by some to be the essential point of departure 
from conventional psychology into those issues in the theory of per- 
ception which also involve psychic research and, ultimately, the rela- 
tionship between the brain and the "external" world. 

However, a recent experiment, if substantiated, points to a far more 
radical departure from presently accepted psychological theory. This 
experiment, by Puthoff and Targ (1974), depends upon the discovery 
that if a stroboscopic light at about 15 flashes per second is shined in a 
subject's eyes, a characteristic alpha component (around 10 or 11 cps) 
appears in his electroencephalogram. In the Puthoff-Targ experiment 
two remotely isolated subjects are used, some prior degree of rapport 
having been established between them. The light is flashed in one 
subject's eyes and the other is asked to guess whether, in a given time 
interval, the light is on or off. While the second subject is usually 
unable to guess better than a chance basis, the telltale alpha component 
appears in his EEC The important deduction is that unconsciously he 
knows with a certainty, in an extrasensory way, when the light is in the 
other person's eyes — even while he is denying such knowledge to his 
conscious mind. 

In other words, this watershed experiment appears to provide clear 
evidence of universal telepathic capacity with almost complete repres- 
sion (for most persons) of awareness of this source of knowledge. 
Demonstration of this repression phenomenon does much to explain 
the puzzling erratic character of psychic research data. It opens the 
possibility of radically new research methodologies in which the inhibit- 
ing effect of the "internal censor" is bypassed by utilizing responses 
(such as EEG components) that the organism has not learned to 

The implications of the experiment goes much further. If telepathic 
capacity is shown to be universal and almost completely repressed, this 
suggests that the same may be true of the whole range of reported 
paranormal phenomena — clairvoyant remote perception; abnormally 
rapid healing; precognition; retrocognition of other lifetimes; telepor- 
tation, "thought photography," and other forms of psychokinesis; and 
the rest. Kuhn (1970) describes how, in the replacement of scientific 
paradigms, a watershed point is reached where the accumulated weight 
of discrepancies and anomalies that cannot be fitted into the old 
paradigm tips the balance, and it becomes more profitable (in emo- 
tional as well as in rational terms) to seek a new paradigm than to patch 
up the old. Recent experimental researchers, including especially the 
experiment mentioned above, strongly suggest that the range of 

Influence of Science on the "Image of Man" 99 

human potentialities is far greater, that the role of out-of-consciousness 
mind processes is far greater, and that the power of expectations and 
images is far greater than can be accounted for under the old 

Clearly the dominant image of human nature in Western society 
today does not as yet include the potentialities implied by the vast and 
puzzling range of reported psychic phenomena. On the other hand, 
public interest in this realm is evidently growing. If Lawrence LeShan 
(1969) is correct in his theory that the assumptions held about reality 
influence the "reality" experienced, then changing cultural assump- 
tions about the possibility of psychic phenomena may have con- 
sequences for the frequency with which they are observed to occur. 
(Hypnosis researchers in the early nineteenth century typically obser- 
ved that the hypnotic trance brought forth latent clairvoyant obser- 
vation and diagnosis capabilities in their subjects. A century later those 
doing hypnosis research were more certain that these phenomena were 
physically impossible, and they no longer seemed to occur.) 

If the newly re-energized area of psychic research does flourish, with 
the dual impetus of increasing public tolerance and new methodologi- 
cal tools, its impact on modern culture may be profound. As earlier 
indicated, in the current Western scientific paradigm "reality" tends to 
be physical, causal, mechanistic, and objective. The data of psychic 
research suggest that reality includes paraphysical effects, that non- 
material mental states exist and transact with physical systems, and that 
humanity has a mental or consciousness aspect which transcends its 
physical nature. 

General Systems Theory and Cybernetics 

We may let Gregory Bateson introduce a final research area to be 
mentioned here: 

the growing together of a number of ideas which had developed in different places 
during World War II . . . the aggregate of these ideas [being called] cybernetics, or 
communication theory, or information theory, or systems theory. The ideas were 
generated in many places: in Vienna by Bertalanffy, in Harvard by Wiener, in 
Princeton by von Neumann, in Bell Telephone labs by Shannon, in Cambridge by 
Craik, and so on. All these separate developments in different intellectual centers 
dealt with . . . the problem of what sort of a thing is an organized system ... I think 
that cybernetics is the biggest bite out of the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge that 
mankind has taken in the last 2000 years. 

(1972, pp. 482-484) 

General systems theory is in essence an attempt to integrate in some 
rational terms, with appropriate metaphors, the diverse knowledge 

100 Changing Images of Man 

flowing from the whole of scientific investigation. It aims at being both 
holistic and empirical. One of its most basic propositions, empirically 
supported, is that laws and principles found to govern the systems 
particular to one discipline are likely to have import for the systems 
peculiar to other disciplines. 

For example, Wiener (1954) observes that the operations of modern 
complex computing systems are precisely parallel to those of living 
organisms in their use of feedback to counteract the thermodynamic 
tendency toward increasing entropy (i.e. confusion, disorder). In both 
cases there are similar processes of collecting information from the 
outside world, transforming this information into more usable forms, 
basing action on the transformed information, and reporting the 
consequences back to the internal regulatory apparatus. 

The concept of many systems as potentially having similar functional 
or structural models is an essential part of what in 1954 was termed 
General Systems Theory by von Bertalanffy (a theoretical biologist), 
Boulding (an economist), Gerard (a neurophysiologist), and Rapoport 
(a mathematician). It should be noted that they specifically rejected the 
notion of the person being only an assembly of the parts of systems that 
the reductionist approach suggests (Buckley, 1968). 

The main thrust for the systems approach may be said to have 
stemmed from biology. The trend toward, and need for, viewing 
biological systems in other than reductionist terms came from the 
thinking of von Bertalanffy, Weiss, Cannon, Bernard, and others in 
the 1920s and 1930s though their work did not gain widespread 
recognition until after World War II. Then it was realized that al- 
though parts of the biological system might be said to be both in 
equilibrium and closed, the whole system was not so structured, and so 
new concepts would be necessary if these systems were to be accurately 
described by science. 

In turn, the systems approach was fruitfully applied to many aspects 
of the study of organisms, e.g. to the cell (Rashevsky, 1938), to per- 
meation in cells (Osterhout, 1932), to metabolation (Bertalanffy, 1932), 
growth theory (von Bertalanfly, 1934), and excitation (Hill, 1936). 
However, the terms of its initiation were broader than this and Ashby (1973) 
describes the kinds of cross-fertilization that were envisaged as possible if 
the inhibitions of specialization could be removed: 

The neurophysiologists were generally unwilling to think of the cerebral cortex as a 
place where epidemic-like processes were occurring. The economists ordinarily would 
not take a person seriously who suggested that the banking system worked rather 
like the liver. 

Influence of Science on the "Image of Man" 101 

Further, the advantages of the systems approach were made apparent 
when Sir Ronald Fisher successfully challenged the reductionist pre- 
mise by demonstrating that in ecological systems, plots showing the 
effect of one variable change at a time could never show the effect of 
varying two or more of them simultaneously. A second major advance 
was achieved when radio engineers mastered the problems of feedback 
circuits which had enormous sensitivity but were wildly unstable until it 
was understood how the interactions created by the feedback operated 
on the system. When Norbert Wiener discovered that the results could 
be applied to systems generally such that "goal-seeking" or "self- 
corrective" devices could be constructed utilizing the feedback prin- 
ciple, then systems science began in earnest, but again, for specialized 

Now it is understood that interaction in systems is a vital element and 
it requires a new approach; hence Weiss's (1969) point that: 

The number of statements necessary to describe the whole system is more than that 
necessary to describe the parts . . . the "more" in the above statement does not at all 
refer to any measurable quantity in the observed systems themselves; it refers solely 
to the necessity for the observer to supplement the sum of statements that can be 
made about the separate parts by any such additional statements as will be needed to 
describe the collective behavior of the parts, when in an organized group. 

Further, the ways in which systems are structured in terms of 
hierarchies that allow them to deal effectively with increasing com- 
plexity is another essential component (Weiss, 1969).* Thus we find 
that systems in general have only certain kinds of responses to growth, 
new information, or change, all of which have common meanings in 
systems theory. In general such responses are characterized by sudden 
restructuring phenomena which are usually preceded by dissonance in 
the system showing up at several levels simultaneously. These events 
are also accompanied by a trend toward greater simplification as well as 
interactive transitions across levels of the old subsystemic structure. It is 
not yet clear whether transitions of this kind can actually be guided; 
this question emerging from the systems approach is one of the most 
demanding challenges which we must meet in the near future (Piatt, 

Thus it is clear that information emerging from the systems ap- 
proach can have immediate relevance for the study of many parts of 
the human environment. The hierarchization notion is common to 

See Note A, p. 109. 

102 Changing Images of Man 

language (Chomsky, 1965), voluntary action (Bruner, 1969), instinctive 
behavior (Tinbergen, 1951), and numerous other kinds of systems. 
Laszlo (1969, 1972) and Salk (1973), among others, find ethics and 
values as having an objective base in norms echoed in the structure or 
"metabiology" of living systems. Bateson (1972) states the promise of 
cybernetics and general systems theory most ambitiously in dealing 
with the dilemma to which human consciousness aided by modern 
technology have now brought us: 

Today the purposes of the consciousness are implemented by more and more 
effective machinery, transportation systems, airplanes, weaponry, medicine, 
pesticides. . . . Conscious purpose is now empowered to upset the balances of the 
body, of society, and of the biological world around us. A pathology — a loss of 
balance — is threatened. . . . On the one hand, we have the systemic nature of the 
individual human being, the systemic nature of the culture in which he lives, and the 
systemic nature of the biological, ecological system around him; and, on the other 
hand, the curious twist in the systemic nature of the individual man whereby 
consciousness is, almost of necessity, blinded to the systemic nature of the man 
himself. Purposive consciousness pulls out, from the total mind, sequences which do 
not have the loop structure which is characteristic of the whole systemic structure. If 
you follow the "common-sense" dictates of consciousness you become effectively, 
greedy and unwise — . . . [where] I use "wisdom" as a word for recognition of and 
guidance by a knowledge of the total systemic creature. Lack of systemic wisdom is 
always punished. . . . Biological systems — the individual, the culture, and the 
ecology — are . . . punishing of any species unwise enough to quarrel with its ecology. 
Call the systemic forces "God" if you will. (p. 440) 


We have examined some characteristics of science as it has been, and 
also some of the developments that may be forcing change in its basic 
paradigm. Now we want to look at some of the interactions between 
science and society and suggest some characteristics of the new 
scientific paradigm that may be emergent. 

Interactions between Science and Society 

Science today affects the lives of an unprecedented number of 
people, in terms both of technological impact and of their direct 
involvement in the activity. The number of Americans who are in some 
manner occupationally involved in scientific research and development 
is approaching 5 percent of the working population (Schlegel, 1972). 
The highly complex and costly operations of science have become a 
subject for debate in all the advanced societies (Ciba, 1972; Calder, 

Influence of Science on the "Image of Man" 103 

1963). This increased impact and the high cost of science bring a 
heightened interaction between society's attitudes to science and the 
content and quantity of scientific research. 

For at least a century, the relationship between science and modern 
society in many ways has resembled that which formerly existed be- 
tween religion and society. In advanced societies, most people have 
sought explanation of natural phenomena in scientific terms, where 
formerly, explanation was sought from the authority of the major 
religions. Thus, science has acted as a kind of validating filter through 
which events in the "real" world had to pass before they could become 
accepted. However, in performing this function, science has often 
ended up rejecting as unreal or illusory many aspects .of subjective 
experience of phenomena which cannot be explained by its own 
paradigms — psychic phenomena, UFOs, religious experiences — as well 
as some of the taboos listed earlier. In recent years, major institutions 
of science have begun to recognize that they can no longer refuse 
attention to aspects of human experience having high currency in 
society, and that to continually deny existence to widely experienced 
realities is to eventually destroy their own authority. 

Related to these changes within science is society's growing dis- 
enchantment with science. Generally speaking, this disenchantment has 
been exacerbated by the sometimes disastrous misapplication of tech- 
nology made possible by science. In the eyes of many, the distinction 
between science and technology is blurred; as a result, today's ecologi- 
cal crisis, the spinoff of science into military technology, and other 
problems of advanced societies are blamed on science itself. 

This new hostility toward science is reflected, for example, in 
decreased enrollment in science-degree programs at colleges and uni- 
versities. It has also repeatedly been used in the political sector to 
initiate massive cutoffs of funding for basic science — even though the 
development of military technology continues to flourish. There is a 
growing belief in the possibility of discovery-specific targeted funding 
in science, although examination of the patterns of scientific discovery 
discloses that one of its essential qualities is unpredictability. 

The influence of social factors on science can pull in two opposing 
directions. On the one hand, social pressure can enrich the whole 
content of science by stressing the need for science to address itself to 
many issues now excluded. Important future developments might 
include, for example: extension of models of causality to include new 
phenomena interlocking with developments in physics; theory of 
complex and mutual causal systems and psychic research; the role of 
consciousness in both quantum mechanics and the general realm of 
state-specific sciences; the vital parameters of ecological and global 

104 Changing Images of Man 

systems as wholly interconnected systems leading to more enlightened 

On the other hand, if previously cited problems of misunderstanding 
of science and the role of technology prevail, then science will have its 
base of operations diminished by the social demand for almost 
exclusive attention to short-range problems and goals, thus causing a 
deterioration of the quality of the scientific enterprise as a whole. 
Thus, certain social pressures may be actually molding science into 
becoming exactly what society most wishes it not to be. 

Although it has become commonplace to note how science has 
transformed society, we may well have underestimated the converse — 
how much the changing values of society have accelerated or 
decelerated, and affected the form and content of, scientific activity. As 
Edelstein (1957) points out, the Greeks discovered and tested most of 
the essential elements of the scientific method. They did not, however, 
develop their discoveries into practical application. One of the reasons 
for this, Farrington (1953) suggests, was that Greek society was based 
on a slave economy, and there was, therefore, no need for the 
development of technological applications. A more fundamental re- 
striction, as Edelstein (1957) notes, was the Greek image of man in 
relation to nature: "The world was there to live in and not to be used 
and made over." Hence, the Greek approach to the pursuit of know- 
ledge was largely aesthetic, although as Aristotle prophetically remar- 
ked: "Man vanquished by nature becomes master through technics." 

In contrast to the Greek notion of "man," the Judeo-Christian view 
holds that "man" is essentially separate from the rightful master over 
nature. This view inspired a sharp rate of increase in technological 
advances in Western Europe throughout the Medieval period. On the 
other hand, the severe limitations of scholastic methodology, and the 
restrictive views of the Church, prevented the formulation of an 
adequate scientific paradigm. It was not until the Renaissance brought 
a new climate of individualism and free inquiry that the necessary 
conditions for a new paradigm were provided. 

Interestingly, the Renaissance scholars turned to the Greeks to 
rediscover the empirical method. The Greeks possessed an objective 
science of things "out there," which D. Campbell (1959) terms the 
"epistemology of the other." This was the basic notion that nature was 
governed by laws and principles which could be discovered, and it was 
this that the Renaissance scholars then developed into science as we 
have come to know it. 

Today, scientists are experiencing a sense of restriction from the 
limitations of the objective and reductionist approach, akin to the 
limitations felt by the Renaissance scholars in relation to the Medieval 
schoolmen's approach. , 

Influence of Science on the "Image of Man" 105 

The time is clearly ripe for a new vision, and it is natural to wonder if 
once again the methods of inquiry developed by another culture might 
not be strong where ours are providing weak. As indicated by Table 5, 
it may be that these methods will be found in an "epistemology of the 
self," such as has held sway in the East. Certainly, there is a sudden new 
interest in oriental knowledge of various methods of control over 
bodily and mental functions. Like the Greek methods, these techniques 
have lain dormant in their culture of origin insofar as general ap- 
plication and "objective" development are concerned. Now, however, 
the Eastern discoveries are being validated in the West by biofeedback 
and other techniques. In short, the scientific knowledge of the West 
may be the environment needed if discoveries of the East are to 
develop and receive* widespread application to the practical concerns 
of humankind. This is not to suggest that modern science would or 
should adopt totally all the Eastern notions of consciousness, but rather 
that they might be fruitfully adopted and synthesized with traditional 
Western scientific methods to produce the next stage in man's evolu- 
tionary advance. As Oates (1972) commented: 

What appears to be the breaking down of civilization may well be simply the 
breaking up of old forms by life itself (not an eruption of madness or self- 
destruction), a process that is entirely natural and inevitable. Perhaps we are in the 
tumultuous but exciting close of a centuries-old kind of consciousness — a few of us 
like theologians of the Medieval church encountering the unstoppable energy of the 
Renaissance. What we must avoid is the paranoia of history's "true believers," who 
have always misinterpreted a natural, evolutionary transformation of consciousness 
as being the violent conclusion of all history. 

Characteristics of a Possibly Emergent Paradigm 

Much of what has been discussed in this chapter is to the point that 
the scientific paradigm and, through it, scientific research findings 
affect the dominant "image of man" in the society — but contrariwise 
the society's priorities and its cultural prejudices influence the scientific 
paradigm. At the present moment in history both developments within 
science itself (e.g. changing metaphors) and pressures from the rest of 
society (e.g. disenchantment with the present science-technology thrust) 

"This is a most important admonition, which could be further elaborated. Northrop's 
'Meeting of the East and West' here makes an important point. In my own writings, 
where I introduced P-plane and C-field, I called attention to the fact that the East 
dwells largely in the protocol plane of immediate experience (which includes intro- 
spection and esthetic immediacies), refusing to enter the field of rational constructs. 
The West, on the other hand, overemphasizes C, the rational. P and C are connected 
by rules of correspondence. My insistence is upon equalizing the emphasis on the 
two." — Henry Margenau 


Table 5 


Element of the 
historical analogy 

Medieval to Industrial 
transformation (past) 

Industrial to Post-industrial 
and transformation (future) 

Approach or idea with 
undeveloped potential 

Early Greek development of 
an epistemology of the 
"other" on which an objec- 
tive physical science could 
be based 

Early Oriental development of an 
epistemology of the "self" on which 
an objective/subjective psycho- 
physical science could be partially 





Image blocking 
development of the 
idea for human 
in culture of origin 

Motivating conditions 
for development of 

Dominant image of the world 
as there to live in, not 
to be used and made over; 
free people enjoying know- 
ledge for its aesthetic value; 
slaves doing the work — 
hence uneconomic to replace 
human energy by technology 

Dominant image of the 

person as essentially a spiritual 
being deluded by the "maya" of 
physical existence — hence uneconomic 
to apply self-knowledge to problems 
of material existence 

Perceived limitations of 
the scholastic method, de- 
sire for empiricism and 
practical physical tech- 

Perceived limitations of current 
reductionistic, objective methods; 
ecological problems beyond resolu- 
tion by physical-technologies alone; 
desire for "value incorporating" 
social and psycho-technologies 

Person intrinsically part of nature, 
appropriate to harmonize self and 
nature through exercise of the indi- 
vidual and the collective, with 
objective and subjective means 

Translation of Oriental thought, syn- 
thesis with general systems theory, 
learning theory, and emerging dis- 
ciplines of holistic objective/ 
subjective inquiry 

Balanced "moral" science and eco- 
nomics oriented toward ecological 
well-being; balanced emphasis on 
physical, social, and psycho- 
technologies; new institutional 
forms yet to be discovered and 



Image of humankind 
necessary to foster 
development of the 

Person as a being separate 
from nature, appropriate to 
dominate nature through 
exercise of individual will 
and reason 

Building blocks for 
development of idea 

Result of full • 
development of idea 

Translation of Greek 
thought; development of 
measurement mathematics, 
engineering, and later 
"pure" sciences of special- 
ized discipline 

Powerful objective science 
and physical technologies; 
industrial corporations with 
necessary capitalization to 
exploit new technologies 

108 Changing Images of Man 

may be bringing about a basic change in the scientific paradigm. From 
the nature of these various forces we have examined in the preceding 
discussion it is possible to deduce some characteristics that the emer- 
gent paradigm would be likely to have if it is responsive to these forces. 
The following eight characteristics are among the most important: 

1. The new paradigm will likely be inclusive rather than exclusive. 
Science as it has been known to now will be included as a special case, 
distinguished by a positivistic bias that resulted in relative neglect of 
subjective experience, and a serious schism between the "two cultures" 
of science and the humanities. There will be recognition that any 
system of knowledge that has guided a stable society, whether that 
society be sophisticated or primitive, ancient or modern, Eastern or 
Western, may be assumed to be rooted in the human experience of its 
time and place and hence in that sense valid, not to be lightly assumed 
away as a quaint superstition. 

2. It will likely be eclectic in methodology and in its definition of what 
constitutes knowledge. It will be guided by the dictum of Saint-Exupery, 
that "Truth is not that which is demonstrable. Truth is that which is 
ineluctable" — which cannot be escaped. Thus the new scientific 
paradigm will not be slavishly wedded to the controlled experiment as 
the paragon of the test for ultimate truth. Furthermore, it will not be 
solely reductionistic in its quest for "explanations," recognizing that, 
for instance, a teleological cause may complement, not contradict, a 
reductionistic cause. 

3. The new paradigm will likely make room for some sort of sys- 
tematization of subjective experience, the domain which has heretofore 
largely been left to non-science — the humanities and religion. That is to 
say, it will include study of those experiences from which we derive our 
basic value commitments. From this characteristic flow several others: 

4. It will likely foster open, participative inquiry, in the sense of 
reducing the dichotomy between observer and observed, investigator 
and subject. Insofar as it deals with a "human science," it will be based 
on collaborative trust and "exploring together," rather than on the sort 
of manipulative deception which has characterized much experimental 
psychological research of the past. 

5. It will likely be a moral inquiry, in the sense of investigating (and 
applying) what values are wholesome for man (much in the sense that 
the science of nutrition investigates what foods are wholesome for 
man), rather than a "value-free" inquiry. 

6. It will likely highlight a principle of complementarity, or recon- 
ciliation (analogously to wave and particle theories of light) of such 
"opposites" as free will and determinism, materialism and transcen- 
dentalism, science and religion. 

Influence of Science on the "Image of Man" 109 

7. The new paradigm will likely incorporate some kind of concept of 
hierarchical level of consciousness, or levels of subjective experience. 
These will be distinguishable in the sense that concepts and metaphors 
appropriate to one level do not necessarily fit another. They will be 
hierarchical, not in the sense that one is higher than another on some 
value scale, but in the sense of structural hierarchy, and also in the 
sense that the consciousness of intense moments of creativity are 
accompanied by, in some testable meaning, more awareness than times 
of "ordinary consciousness," and those in turn involve more awareness 
than deep sleep. The notion of a spectrum of potential consciousness 
connotes extending the range of recognized "unconscious" processes 
(i.e. processes of which we are not usually conscious although the 
potentiality appears to be present of experiencing them directly) to 
include a vast range of reported experience in the provinces of creative 
imagination, "cosmic consciousness," aesthetic and mystical experience, 
psychic phenomena, and the occult. This range will include, im- 
portantly, both subconscious choice — man "hiding from himself," 
repressing not only feelings and memories but also knowledge of his 
own potentialities — and supraconscious choice, the direction of a 
"higher self" manifesting itself in hunches and inspirations and 
"choosing better than we know." The metaphors appropriate to the 
"highest" levels will include some way of referring to the subjective 
experiencing of a unity in all things (the "More" of William James, the 
"Divine Ground," Brahman) of which the "higher self" (the "Over- 
soul" of Emerson, Atman) has immediate knowledge. 

8. Thus the paradigm will allow a much more unified view of human 
experiences now categorized under such diverse headings as "crea- 
tivity," "intuition," "hypnosis," "religious experience," and "psychic 
phenomena" — and also a more unified view of the processes of per- 
sonal change and development that take place within the contexts of 
psychotherapy, education, "growth centers," religion, and crisis con- 

The guiding paradigm of scientific activity and the dominant image 
of man in society are not the same thing. They are, however, inter- 
dependent and a change taking place in one will surely affect the other. 


Note A 

"Weiss's point that the rules of interaction must be given does not provide the whole 
story here. Complex patterns can be generated by simple rules. However, in Ulam's 
formulation, it takes a greater amount of (Shannonian) information to describe the 

110 Changing Images of Man 

finished pattern than just the rules of interaction alone. Thus the amount of information 
(Shannonian) grows. This is contrary to Shannon's formulation that the amount of 
information decreases but can never increase. Furthermore, often the rules of interaction 
cannot be inferred from the finished pattern. It is important to realize that Shannon's 
information theory was developed to combat noise in systems and is therefore based on 
the rules of random interference. Thus it cannot explain the increase of complexity, 
structure and differentiation in biological systems. Biological and social processes, on the 
other hand, are based on differentiation — amplifying as well as structure-maintaining 
mutual causal relations, and can increase and maintain differentiation, structure and 
complexity. So Shannon's information theory is inadequate for biological and social 
systems. [See Maruyama (1963) for further details.]" — Magoroh Maruyama 

DraarlM kv Rlditor; C tf77. TM Mfw Tartar Muuiaa. Iik. 

"The question before the board, then is whether or not to enter an altered state of consciousness." 

Reproduced by permission of The New Yorker Magazine, Inc. Drawing by Richter. 




Characteristics of an Adequate Image of Humankind * 

We have seen how the predominant image of humankind in a society is 
a powerful shaping force on the social environment and how the social 
environment, in turn, influences the society's image. We have also seen 
how the dominant images that guided this society through an age of 
incredible success are now being challenged, bcause of our inability to 
deal adequately either with the problems created by the success or the 
problems attendant to past and emerging social and scientific 

Now questions of tremendous import arise. Could an image of 
humankind emerge that might shape the future, as the currently 
dominant images — man as the master of nature, inhabitant of a 
material world, and consumer of goods — our legacy of the past, have 
shaped our present culture? Could such a new image provide the 
bridge to carry us safely over to a post-industrial era? If so, what 
characteristics should the emergent image entail, such that it would be 
both feasible and adequate for the satisfactory resolution of the serious 
problems currently facing the society? 

From the nature of contemporary societal problems, studies of 
plausible alternative futures, and our earlier considerations of the role 
played by a society's dominant image, we can postulate a provisional list 
of characteristics that a new image must possess if it is to become 
dominant and effective. At the minimum we believe it would need to: 
(1) provide a holistic sense of perspective on life, (2) entail an ecological 
ethic, (3) entail a self-realization ethic, (4) be multi-leveled, multi- 
faceted, and integrative, (5) lead to a balancing and coordinating of 
satisfactions along many dimensions, and (6) be experimental and 
open-ended. We examine these requirements more closely below, and 
will consider the feasibility of emergence of such an image in Chapter 

To prevent misunderstanding, it should be emphasized that the word "self" in this 
chapter is meant to have a trans-personal connotation along the lines described in the next 
chapter. For this reason, some readers may prefer to scan Chapter 6 before reading 


114 Changing Images of Man 


A holistic perspective and understanding of life seems absolutely vital if 
we are to overcome the fragmentation and alienation that have become 
so common in the latter part of the industrial era. If in the absence of 
the myths and rituals of pre-scientific societies we are to regain a sense 
of meaningful purpose and integration — at the level of self, of society, 
and of the universe — a generally acceptable sense of perspective or 
understanding must emerge in our society of "what it is all about." Just 
as an adequate new image should serve to reintegrate the specialized 
images that at present contend with each other, so too should it lead to 
a satisfactory sense of perspective and derivative methods for 
experiencing and participating in construction and discovery processes 
through which that perspective is maintained. Only then will the needs 
of continued evolution and the important function once served by 
myth and ritual again be fulfilled.* 


An ecological ethic is necessary if man is to avoid destroying the 
complex life-support system on which our continued existence on the 
planet depends. It must recognize that available resources, including 
space, are limited and must portray the human as an integral part of 
the natural world. It must reflect the "new scarcity" in an ethic of 
fragility, of doing more with less. It must involve not only a sense of 
mutual self-interest between individuals, but also the interests of fellow 
men and the more extensive interests among fellow creatures (both 
near and far, both present and future). An ecological ethic would imply 
movement toward a homeostatic (yet dynamic) economic and ecological 
system, in which the human acts in partnership with nature to har- 
monize ecological relationships and in establishing satisfactory recycling 
mechanisms. Such an ethic is necessary to achieve a synergism of 
heterogeneous individual and organizational micro-decisions such that 
the resultant macro-decisions are satisfactory to those who made the 
component decisions, and to society. (The alternative way of arriving at 
satisfactory macro-decisions involves behavior controls that would 
deprive the individual of freedoms, as well as being in conflict with the 
next characteristic.) 

An ecological ethic should incorporate concerns that are broader 
than those of the physical/biological ecosphere, however. It should also 
lead to concern for the processes of coordinated and balanced need- 

* See Note A, p. 121. 

Characteristics of an Adequate Image of Humankind 115 

satisfaction and well-being among cultures (cultural ecology), among 
various institutions and types of activities such as the arts, the humani- 
ties, the sciences, politics and so forth (institutional ecology), and 
among various aspects of the self (intra- and trans-psychic ecology). 


The desirability of this characteristic of the new image is based on 
the view that the proper end of all individual experience is the 
evolutionary and harmonious development of the emergent self (both 
as a person and as a part of wide collectivities), and that the ap- 
propriate function of social institutions is to create an environment 
which will foster that process. This is the ethic which must supersede 
the man-over-nature ethic and the material-growth-and-consumption 
ethic which have given rise to a large portion of man's problems as he 
became increasingly preoccupied with solely material aspects of exploit- 
ing and controlling nature for selfish ends on a fragile and finite 
planet where the pursuit of such goals can be suicidal.* 

This self-realization would relieve the current hostility toward in- 
dustrial and bureaucratic practices which tend to diminish man and the 
anxiety that we have somehow lost a sense of direction in the control 
and management of our human affairs — of what our ancestors would 
have called our destiny. The wide acceptance of a new ethic is required 
if we are to restructure our social institutions to satisfy the individual's 
basic need for full and valued participation in the society. As corollaries 
to this ethic, self-determination of individuals and minority groups 
would be fostered, diversity of choices would be honored, social 
decision-making would become largely decentralized, and the 
mechanism of creative voluntarism would be preferred over public 
bureaucracy for the accomplishment of most social tasks.f 

Properly understood, these two ethics, the one emphasizing the total 
community of life-in-nature and the oneness of the human race, and 
the other placing the highest value on development of selfhood, are 

See Note B, p. 122. 

"Let us realize that self-realization is very much an upper middle class/bour- 
geois/academic/liberal nostrum that, as you suggest, will cure everything for 
everybody .... I am all for self-realizing, but I entertain far more modest expectations. 
Moreover, I can be totally self-realized, but still be anxious as hell 'that we have 
somehow lost a sense of direction in the control and management of our human 
affairs.' The self-realization paradigm requires far more critical examination than you 
have given it here — just remember, that for most Americans, self-realization is winning 
a trophy in the bowling league. There is no indication how this will be otherwise." — 
Michael Marien 

116 Changing Images of Man 

not contradictory but complementary. Both are necessary to synthesize 
and coordinate mutualistic and hierarchical approaches in a symbiotic 
manner. The ecological ethic corrects for a selfish distortion of the 
self-realization ethic, and the latter corrects for an excessively collec- 
tivist version of the ecological ethic. Together, the two ethics leave 
room for cooperation and for wholesome competition, for sociality and 
for individuality. But if the two ethics are to harmonize, the term "self" 
must be understood in broad terms, incorporating the diverse roles 
and aspects of existence of the human being. To quote three modern 

It is by now widely accepted that the history of evolution may be regarded as the 
development of ever more complex organizations of living matter: molecules, 
proteins, cells, groups of cells, animals. 

(Metzner, 1968) 

Consciousness, rather than being the product of a particular neural circuit ... is the 
organization of the bio-system; that is, awareness is the "complementary" aspect of 
that organization — its psychological equivalent. 

(Deikman, 1972) 

Consciousness can be defined as a phenomenon which is synonymous with the 
structure of an organism. 

(Wolf, 1970) 

Thus, corresponding to the generally increasing complexity and 
differentiation of evolving biological systems, there has been a con- 
comitant increase in consciousness which reflects that evolving state. Our 
sense of self must incorporate this vision if we are responsibly to accept 
the challenges that our era presents. 

Just as the different systems within the body (cells, organs, and so 
forth) are interrelated, so too are the different systems within the 
body-politic (persons, institutions, and so forth), and this interrelated- 
ness of necessity increases as our civilization becomes more tightly 
coupled and complex. It represents a higher degree of organization of 
the bio-system. If we try to "love our neighbor as ourself," not because 
it is what we have been taught is proper but because we hold the 
underlying image and perception that our neighbor is in a real sense 
ourself, then it might indeed become more feasible to arrive at 
meaningful social goals that can be satisfied within ecological con- 
straints. Thus the new image of humankind should incorporate trans- 
personal as well as individualistic aspects of existence.* 

* See Sir Geoffrey Vickers' very relevant comments on "Social Ethics" in Appendix B. 

Characteristics of an Adequate Image of Humankind 117 


We earlier noted how the images of humankind have over the past 
several hundred years become increasingly fragmented as specializa- 
tion and reductionism have come to be emphasized in mature in- 
dustrialized societies. If this trend is not reversed it is likely to lead, not 
only to continuing fragmentation of personality and culture, but also to 
ideological conflict as social policies based on old images compete for 
dominance. (For example, witness the current debate over the image of 
the human as portrayed in Skinner's Beyond Freedom and Dignity (1971) 
and operant conditioning in the schools.) 

At this point in history, ideological conflict is too costly — our weapons 
are too strong and our institutional environment too fragile. If a new 
image is to contribute to resolution of the planet's woes, it must provide 
for an integrative reconciliation of the apparent dichotomies between 
opposing images (as quantum theory reconciled wave and particle 
images in physics). The new image must also be integrative in the sense 
that it builds on past successful images. Seldom if ever have historical 
infusions of new images from external sources been of a non-violent 
nature, whether the new image was imposed by physical power or 
brought in by a charismatic messiah who was persuasive to some but 
not to others. For the new image to foster a smooth transition to a 
benign post-industrial and eventually planetary society, it has to be 
absorbed into the lives of people and the institutions of society without 
the disruptions that accompany most revolutions. This can only happen 
if the new image and its implications are seen as an integration, 
reinterpretation or improvement of the old. 

Any image of humankind that has guided a stable society, whether 
that society be sophisticated or primitive, ancient or modern, Eastern 
or Western, agricultural or hunting or industrial, must be assumed to 
be rooted in the human experience of its time and place and in that 
sense valid. That image which can lead toward a pluralistic yet sym- 
biotic world of greater fulfillment cannot be in direct opposition to any 
of these more restricted images. In the specific case of late twentieth- 
century America, the new image must somehow be made compatible 
with the basic symbols and images of the American democratic 
experiment, and with the individualism of the frontier and the ener- 
getic activism of American enterprise. 

But just as the new image should be integrative, so too should it 
entail a high degree of differentiation, not blurring the distinctiveness, 
focus, and validity of various specialized images in efforts at in- 
tegration. It therefore must be adequately multi-faceted, and, in 
keeping with the sense of evolution, coordinate those differences at a higher 
level of complexity and coherence. 

118 Changing Images of Man 

To perform this task of differentiated integration, the new image will 
likely have to be multi-dimensional.* In keeping with the lessons 
learned from ecology and general systems theory, any new image will 
have to order the various aspects of our existence at the physical, 
organic, social, psychical, and spiritual levels. As Polanyi (1966) and 
Weiss (1969) have pointed out, these levels form a hierarchy; the 
functioning of systems at each level relies on the elemental laws of the 
lower level; but the principle of the operations of a higher level can 
never be derived from the laws governing the lower — the lower level 
system received its meaning from the higher system, which integrates 
the particulars of the lower into a new emerging Gestalt. Such a 
multi-leveled image of humankind could thereby help both to integrate 
the contributions from various disciplines of science, and to contain 
meaning for and serve the needs of individuals and groups at varying 
degrees of maturity and modernity, just as relativistic physics includes 
Newtonian mechanics and common-sense observations as special cases 
of restricted validity. 

Thus, if the requirements of various cultures, belief systems, and 
personality types are to be served, if cultural unity with diversity! is to 
be fostered and the evolution of consciousness to be furthered, the new 
image must portray a general direction of growth in which various 
conceptual emphases are reconciled but retained. For example, the 
emphasis of: individuality and community; the way of the yogi (in- 
wardly directed change) and the way of the commissar (outwardly 
directed change); freedom and determinism; nature and nuture; male 
and female; sensory and extrasensory; and salvation or progress 
through efforts by self and society and through divine intervention. 
The meaning of divinity must somehow come to incorporate both the 
images of person as separate from God, and of person and God as 
different levels of the same reality. In all such cases the various partial 
images appear as complementary truths, neither denying the other, thus 
reflecting the views of such diverse groups as children and adults, 
lettered and unlettered, abstract and concrete minds. 

Both of the dominant conceptual images basic to Western democracy 
(an agnostic survival of the fittest and a trustworthy invisible hand) are 
in need of revitalization if self-interested individual micro-decisions are 
in fact to combine into satisfactory macro-decisions in today's complex, 

See Note C, p. 122. 

"The term 'unity with diversity' should be replaced by 'symbiotization of hetero- 
geneity.' Although, as you [Markley] pointed out in conversation, the term 'unity with 
diversity' is likely to be understandable to more people, it misses the point completely. 
This point is very important." — Magoroh Maruyama 

Characteristics of an Adequate Image of Humankind 119 

interconnected society. Thus, if the operative principles based on a 
view of the human as possessing free will and a valid sense of values are 
to remain viable, the new image must accommodate the concept and 
experience of the transcendental, the expansion of consciousness, in 
personal and cultural evolution. 



The maximizing of concerns along one narrowly defined dimension 
would not allow the other criteria listed above to be met in a way that 
contributes to an increased quality of life. The related ideas of balance 
and coordination stem from ecology and general systems theory (as 
well as from various cultures' notions about wisdom), and provides a 
needed corrective to the one-sided life style of achieving an increased 
standard of living that has accompanied the growth of the value-empty 
economics and science in our industrial society.* 

Such a new image of man might be supportive of a philosophy (and 
indeed, a public strategy) of "well-being" — a term that Weisskopf 
(1971) uses to replace the term "welfare" and the older terms "happi- 
ness" and "utility," which have come to have predominantly economic 
connotations. Such a philosophy would have to acknowledge that: 

... a person, a family, a group or a nation can have too much wealth and income and 
may suffer from too much change, economic growth and production. It may 
consider that the way in which wealth is produced, distributed and consumed can, in 
itself, lead to a destructive way of life. 

(Weisskopf, 1971, p. 182) 

Just as the complexities of ecology fare badly from single-valued 
approaches of such physical technologies as DDT, so too do the 
complex needs of the human system from treatments such as typify 
exclusively allopathic (drug-based) medicine, or a minimum-wage law. 
The hierarchical structure of human needs requires coordinated 
"satisficing" if the overall goal of well-being is to be served. (The term 
"satisfice" was coined by Herbert Simon, 1957. It stems from our 

"The term 'balance' should be replaced by 'symbiosis.' In symbiosis differences do not 
have to be 'reconciled.' You make positive use of differences. For example, plants 
convert carbon dioxide to oxygen, and animals convert oxygen into carbon dioxide. 
They do the opposite. Symbiosis makes use of this difference. The idea is completely 
different from 'reconciliation.' Also, 'balance' is based on the paradigm that what one 
gains is what someone else loses. But in symbiotic paradigm, everybody gains." — 
Magoroh Maruyama 

120 Changing Images of Man 

recognition that the trade-offs in real life are such that true "satis- 
factions" are not usually possible — hence we suffice as best we can, 
arriving at decisions that do not properly satisfy but may indeed 

In addition to these somewhat idealized objectives, however, the new 
image should point toward a transformed state of industrialized society 
that will seem achievable and preferable to the present state, yet have 
functional utility in the present. A positive guiding image is a crucial 
determinant in the fate of a people. In individual psychotherapy 
(Frank, 1972) and in societal revitalization (Polak, 1973), the expectation 
of success in confronting and dealing with crises is often a far more 
important variable than the specific methods or approaches used. For 
example, the American response to World War II seems to prove that 
our society is capable of extraordinary mobilization when it perceives 
itself to be in a crisis that it comprehends and expects to be able to deal 
with. But of course the present situation is different from World War 
II; as Pogo said, "We have met the enemy and he is us." Rather than 
encouraging propagandistic efforts to mobilize society, a new image 
should lead to understandings of personal and social actions suitable 
for the highly interconnected and complex — but limited — environment 
that the symbol "spaceship earth" has come to signify. The image 
should have ethical implications that are immediately practical in ap- 
plication and should validate the sense that there is a way out of our 
current difficulties. 


Self-consciously evolutionary rather than dogmatic and paradigm 
bound attitudes and images are necessary. It is unreasonable to expect 
the rate of change in society to diminish. If the society of the future is 
to avoid the image obsolescence and crisis that our present society 
faces, it will be necessary to anticipate — rather than just to react to — the 
necessity for such paradigm changes, and continuously to seek more 
adequate conceptions and images. 

Thus the new image of humankind should incorporate the con- 
tributions of subjective processes as well as objective sciences. It should 
portray a vision of man-in-the universe that is unrealized but appears 
realizable — incomplete in the sense of pointing to the greater mystery 
that each individual or culture must discover for itself, and thus 
encouraging exploration and self-development on the part of in- 
dividuals, groups, and the entire human venture. 

Indeed, this last requirement, that a new image be open-ended and 

Characteristics of an Adequate Image of Humankind 121 

evolutionary, may be the key to the productive transition from an 
industrial past to a post-industrial future. For one of the strongest of 
current conflicts is that of incremental versus revolutionary change. 
Incremental change is typically seen as being inadequate to overcome 
the resistance of institutions which must somehow be fundamentally 

Revolution, on the other hand, might well cause so much social 
upheaval that the cure would be worse than the disease. We suggest 
that the resolution of this dilemma could be fostered by an "image of 
man" in transformation which portrays the person and human culture 
as growing elements in an evolving cosmos. If personal and social 
evolution is seen as an integral part of human life, then perhaps much 
less impetus would be required to bring about needed change. One 
such image has been expressed in Dunn's (1971) phrase, "process 
teleology", in which human beings 

. . . establish the process of human development as the goal of the process of social 
evolution. Both the process and the goal are understood to be open to further 
transformation as we advance with the practice and understanding of them. (p. 244) 

With such imagery it is conceivable that the incrementalist/rev- 
olutionary dilemma could be resolved by revolutionary changes at the 
conceptual level in the near term, but accompanied by incremental 
changes at the operational level, leading to thoroughgoing trans- 
formation of society only in the longer term. 


Note A 

"Holistic thought and analysis are essential to understand the change through which 
we are passing. If we are going to work our way through the pitfalls and dilemmas 
inherent in your convincing visions of the future with a minimum of waste and agony, we 
can only do so if we are unable to perceive the interrelationships of things and appreciate 
the problems inherent in the inexorable synthesis. 

"There are two rather fundamental obstacles in the way of this achievement: one is 
intellectual and the other institutional. Alfred North Whitehead foresaw the first in 1925 
when he wrote of the evils of specialization: 

. . . the ignoration of the true relation of each organism to its environment . . . , the 
habit of ignoring the intrinsic worth of the environment which must be allowed its 
weight in any consideration of final ends .... In short, the specialized functions of the 
community are performed better and more progressively, but the generalized direction 
lacks vision, (pp. 282, 283) 

"So we are deprived of the intellectual tools and disciplines necessary to simplify, 
refine, and synthesize the components of the holistic visions which you set forth. 
Furthermore, most academic bureaucracies, structured to reward specialization, are not 
helping the situation. 

122 Changing Images of Man 

"A second — and related — obstacle to the holistic approach emerges from the structure 
of our institutions, such as government, corporations, and universities. These institutions 
have been made legitimate by a framework of ideas, and ideology, which emerged some 
300 years ago as an explicit rejection of Medieval holism. (I describe this ideology, 
somewhat imprecisely, as Lockean....) Our institutions have departed from the old 
ideology even as it has eroded; their foundations are shaking. But even as they shake, 
our institutions and their managers understandably tend to cling for legitimacy to the old 
ideas." — George C. Lodge 

Note B 

"This should be called 'heterogenistic self-realization ethic' In order to un-brainwash 
the readers, it is necessary to repeat 'heterogenistic' where needed. 'Self-realization' may 
mean, in the minds of many, giving the 'opportunity' to everybody and 'enabling' 
everybody to become standard middle-class, enabling everybody to go to college, etc. I 
would rewrite the entire passage as follows: 

[The new image] must embody or imply a heterogenistic self-realization ethic, based on 
the view that the basic principle of the biological and social processes is increase of 
heterogeneity and of symbiotization, that the individuals are unique and different, that 
the desirable end of all individual experience is the further development of the 
emergent self, and that the appropriate function of social institutions is to create an 
environment which will allow for and facilitate heterogeneous development of in- 
dividuals and symbiosis within human species as well as among all living species." — 
Magoroh Maruyama. 


"Three interpretations must be mentioned here: hierarchical, atomistic, and network. 
In the first school of thought, represented by Aristotle, Thomas Aquinas, Polanyi and 
Weiss, these dimensions are conceptualized as levels in a hierarchy. The second school of 
thought, having its origin in the Nominalists of the Medieval Age and translated into the 
ideology of democracy in England and in the U.S.A., sees the whole as nothing but a 
statistical sum of its parts. The third school of thought, developed particularly since the 
advent of cybernetics in 1940s, sees the whole as characterized by the pattern of network 
formed between individual elements. In some cases such a network may be pre-designed 
according to a centralized plan. But in many cases the network will form as a result of 
interaction between the elements without anybody planning ahead. Ecological inter- 
actions are an example of the latter. The evolutionary process is another example. The 
result is different from a mere statistical sum of the parts. Nor is it something planned by 
a central authority. This type of system is characterized by the pattern of interaction 
activated by its component elements." — Magoroh Maruyama 

Rembrandt van Ryn — A scholar in his study, watching a magic disc ("Dr Faustus"). 
Reproduced by permission of the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. 



The Feasibility of an Integrative, 
Evolutionary Image of Man 

We have postulated a set of characteristics that an emergent image of 
man-in-the-universe would need in order both to be adequate to the 
challenges of the future, and also to be compatible with our historical 
past. How feasible is it that such an image might come to dominate 
world society in the near future? 

We propose to address this question here, in two parts. First we shall 
examine the conceptual feasibility. Mathematicians use what they term 
an "existence theorem" — it is enough to show that solutions can exist if 
you can find even one. In that spirit we discuss one sort of image of 
man that appears to meet the conditions laid down in the preceding 

Then in the second section we shall examine the operational feasibility 
of replacing past images of man with a new and emergent one. 


Thus the possible construction of a new image, and the testing for 
conceptual feasibility, will be examined first. 

Elements of a New Image 

It would be impossible to cite all the contributions that influenced the 
envisioning of the composite image described below. However, the 
ways of thinking or imaging contained in the following works stand 
out as having had particular significance in this exploration: 

• General systems thinking (Laszlo, 1972; von Bertalanffy, 1967), but in particular the 
hierarchical relationships of ascending levels of "consciousness" (Polanyi, 1966; 
Weiss, 1969); and the process of "hierarchical restructuring" (Piatt, 1970). 

• Various past theories and images (e.g. Judeo-Christian, Darwinian, Freudian, 
behaviorist), reviewed in Chapter 3, that somehow must be incorporated. 

• The metaphor of the human biocomputer (Lilly, 1972). 



Changing Images of Man 

The postulation of "state (of consciousness) specific" theories, needs, knowledge 

processes, and modes of explanation (Tart, 1972; Kantor, 1969; Maslow, 1962; 

Hubbard, 1954; Kohlberg, 1969). 

The vision of continuing evolution of man — social (Dunn, 1971), cultural (Mead, 

1964), spiritual (Chardin, 1939), and integrative (Aurobindo, 1963; Assagioli, 1965). 

The "Perennial Philosophy" (Huxley, 1945) and various occult writings (e.g. Ous- 

pensky, 1943). 

The process of transformational discovery, as in the "Monomyth" (J. Campbell, 

1956), "cultural revitalization" (Wallace, 1956), and in the work of Toynbee, Jung, and 

Eliot, as described in The Experiment in Depth (Martin, 1955). 

The Gradient 

Figure 9 shows a number of theories about the nature of the human 
and their underlying images that we will attempt to show can be 
integrated into a more holistic image/theory of humankind. If this 
attempt proves successful, each composite part would come to be seen 
not as erroneous but rather as having its own validity (albeit a restricted 
one as seen from the perspective of the whole). First, it is useful to 
introduce the concept of gradient, and to see how it applies to the 
systemic properties of existence. 

Dominant aspects 
Images of man \ of consciousness 

Animal-bestial man; 
Impulsive- irrational 

Repressed man 
Dreaming man 

The Vedas, Perennial philosophy, etc. 

Rosicrucians, Theosophy, etc. 

Humanists, NeoFreudian 
Sartrian existentialists 

Freud, Watson, Skinner 

Freud , Lorenz, Ardrey 

Fig. 9. Complementarity of various images as they might fit in a proposed composite 

image of the person. 

* Jung's imagery of "dreaming man" is difficult to place in the model — precisely because 
this aspect of man partakes of "the center" (discussed on pages 137-138), which tends to 
integrate "the higher" and "the lower." 

The Feasibility of an Evolutionary Image of Man 127 

By "gradient" we mean, simply, "the grade or ascent ... a series of 
transitional forms, states, or qualities connecting related extremes" 

It is widely recognized that each succeeding level of biological and 
social evolution forms a hierarchical gradient of interacting levels of 
increasing complexity and order. The various scientific disciplines 
reflect this ordered series — from phylogenesis to ontogenesis to socio- 
genesis; from such disciplines as physics, chemistry, genetics, and 
physiology to ethology, psychology, sociology, and anthropology and to 
such newly emerging disciplines as systems theory and the policy 

Some type of gradient should similarly be recognizable with regard 
to the higher aspects of human existence. In biological evolution, as 
each higher level system emerges, it brings with it the capacity to order 
chemical reactions in an increasingly coherent and purposive manner. 
Similarly with social and cultural evolution where, for example, ethical 
norms order or channel the energies associated with more primitive 
processes (such as anger) in keeping with higher needs, or where 
immediate gratification is postponed in order to obtain a greater 
gratification at some future time. 

Three principles are enunciated in this approach: one, the dimensions of existence 
form a hierarchy of lower and higher levels or dimensions; two, the higher 
dimension, although resting on the foundations of the lower ones, cannot be 
understood in terms of the principles governing the lower ones; it receives its 
meaning from the higher dimension which integrates the particulars of the lower 
dimension into a new emerging Gestalt. Three, the highest level is the realm of the 
normative, of the moral sense, of the standards of value. 

(Weisskopf, 1971, p. 186) 

An analogy to computer programming may be a helpful illustration 
at this point. 

The Gradient in the Human Biocomputer. The real power and flexibility 
of the modern computer is found not in its hardware, but in its 
software — the gradient series of ever more general symbolic programs 
that make it feasible to use the computer for vastly different functions. 
The basic functioning of a computer requires one instruction for each 
operation that is carried out, and while programming at this machine- 
language level is in principle very flexible, it requires too much time to 
prepare special purpose programs for different applications. Rather, it 
has been found useful to create a hierarchical series of macropro- 
gramming languages, where a single instruction at one level generates 
a score or more detailed instructions at a more basic level. 

The utility of the computer metaphor of human functioning is 
illustrated in Table 6 (a). At the lower (machine language) end of the 



Table 6 

Hierarchical programs in the 
human biocomputer 


Hierarchy of needs 



Hierarchy of moral orientations 


Higher levels of awareness and func- 
tioning, metaprograms, transcendence 
of time and space, aesthetic and 
creative sense, supra-mental function- 
ing astral levels, contact with 
spiritual entities, etc. 

5. Self-actualization 

Normal levels of waking awareness and 
ego functioning 

4. Esteem 

3. Belongingness and 

Subconscious awareness, id functioning, 1 
semantic and cultural determinism; 
psychosomatic process; genetic 

2. Safety 


6. Universal ethical principle 

5. Social contact/shared under- 

4. Authoritarian law and order/doing 

3. Other-directed — conformist 

2. Instrumental relativist 

1. Obedience and fear of punishment 


** . 




The Feasibility of an Evolutionary Image of Man 129 

human biocomputer are such processes as genetic inheritance; in- 
stinctual, endocrine, and autonomic processes; semantic and cultural 
determinism — all of which we have some degree of subconscious 
awareness of; and as the experience of yoga, hypnosis, and biofeedback 
training suggests, all of which we can to some extent reprogram. At a 
higher level, that of normal waking awareness, the executive function 
of the human biocomputer manifests awareness of the self (cogito, ergo 
sum); and as part of that self-awareness, believes that it is constantly 
capable of choice and of reprogramming itself, i.e. that it has freedom. 
Just how much freedom of choice exists at this level is somewhat 
problematical, however, for as Lilly (1972) has pointed out, there are 
still higher level metaprograms to which the human biocomputer is 

If such metaprograms (the basic beliefs; images of self, others, and 
the universe; influence from subconscious and the superconscious 
aspects of self) determine the criteria for choice, then there is in fact 
very little true freedom of choice unless access to these levels can be 
obtained. We have only the most rudimentary maps for these aspects of 
the self, but they must be incorporated into any image of humankind 
adequate for the future. To the extent that a linear dimension of lower 
and higher is valid, however (and we will later discuss limitations of this 
approach), it would seem that it is the lower quasi-conscious or un- 
conscious aspects of man that are operative through the functioning of 
instinctual energies (Freud) and operant conditioning (Skinner); and 
conversely, the higher levels are those to which esoteric wisdom refers 
and from which the intuitive sources of creativity most likely stem. The 
Italian psychiatrist Roberto Assagioli has formulated a map 
(reproduced here as Fig. 10) that depicts these various domains of 
consciousness in a useful way. 

The Gradient of Human Needs. Maslow (1962) described a gradient that 
parallels the above as being manifest by persons with different levels of 
need-fulfillment. He noted that persons who have adequately fulfilled 
their basic physical and emotional needs act from a very different type 
of motivation than do those who have not. Very simply stated, 
"deficiency needs" are those which, if not fulfilled, will eventually lead 
to illness or to death. Their non-fulfillment causes the deprived person 
to act at lower levels of functioning, as we have portrayed on Table 
6 (b). Growth/being/wisdom needs, on the other hand, are the needs 
whose fulfillment provides a sense of meaning for existence, aesthetic 
or spiritual delight; non-fulfillment brings, not illness, but rather a 
sense of boredom or apathy (assuming that the deficiency needs are 

130 Changing Images of Man 

/ ! \ 7 

I. 1 \ 

7 1 ^h 2 ! 
V — 7 


/ 7 

\ / 

I. The lower unconscious 

2. The middle unconscious 

3. The higher unconscious or superconscious 

4 The field of consciousness 

5 The conscious self or "I " 

6. The higher self 

7. The collective unconscious 

Fig. 10. Various aspects of consciousness/function in the personality. Source: Assagioli 

(1965). Assagioli presents a great deal more background, reservations, and qualifications 

with regard to this type of conception than can be presented in this report. 

adequately met).* It was Maslow's hypothesis that most people move 
sequentially through a "hierarchy of needs." Such movement likely 
occurs in two rather different modes. As Maslow emphasized, it can 
occur quite spontaneously — as one modal need type is adequately 
fulfilled, there is a natural tendency to grow and seek further. On the 
other hand, as noted by Clare Graves (another theorist who has 
developed the needs hierarchy theme), it can also occur or be stimu- 
lated in crises — as one modal behavior style becomes dysfunctional 
there is a tendency to seek another level of need fulfillment. 

The Gradient of Human Morality. Still another similar gradient series, 
this time having to do with ascending degrees of moral thinking and 
acting, has been derived by Kohlberg (1969). In both cross-cultural and 
domestic studies, Kohlberg found that the dominant form of morality 
tends, over time, to follow a definite, hierarchical progression. This is 
true both of whole cultures and of the individual within the culture 
(until he reaches or surpasses the dominant form in his culture). Like 
the hierarchy of needs, these stages also form a gradient, as depicted in 

"It is important to note that boredom and apathy (if not viewed from a dualistic 
mind-body bias) does lead to illness, non-productivity, and death in terms of the holistic 
concepts this paper is espousing." — Stanley Krippner 


At this level the child is responsive 
to such rules and labels as Rood or 
bad and right or wrong. He interprets 
these labels in purely physical or 
hedonistic terms: If he is bad, he is 
punished; if he is good, he is re- 
warded. He also interprets the labels 
in terms of the physical power of 
those who enunciate them — parents, 
teachers and other adults. The level 
comprises the following two stages: 

Stage 1: punishment and obedi- 
ence orientation. The physical con- 
sequences of action determine its 
goodness or badness regardless of the 
human meaningor value of these con- 
sequences. Avoidance of punishment 
and unquestioning deference to 
power are valued in their own right, 
not in terms of respect for an under- 
lying moral order supported by pun- 
ishment and authority, the latter 
being stage 4. 

Stage 2: instrumental relativist or- 
ientation. Right action consists of that 
which instrnmentally satisfies one's 
own needs and occasionally the 
needs of others. Human relations are 
viewed in terms similar lo those of 
the marketplace. Klcinciits of fair- 
ness, of reciprocity and equal sharing 
are present, but they are always in- 
terpreted in a pragmatic way. Reci- 
procity is a matter of "you scratch my 
back and I'll scratch yours," not of 
loyalty, gratitude or justice. 


At this level maintaining the expec- 
tations of the individual's family, 
group or nation is perceived as valu- 
able in its own right, regardless of 
immediate and obvious conse- 
quences. The attitude is one not only 
of conformity to the social order but 
of loyalty to it, of actively maintain- 
ing, supporting and justifying the 
order, and of identifying with the per- 
sons or group involved in it. This 
level comprises the following two 

Stage 3: interpersonal concordance 
or "good boy-nice girl" orientation. 
Good behavior is that which pleases 
or helps others and is approved by 
them. There is much conformity to 
stereotypical images of what is major- 
ity or "natural" behavior. Behavior is 
frequently judged by intention: "He 
means well" becomes important, and 
one earns approval by "being nice." 

Stage 4: "law and order" orienta- 
tion. Authority, fixed rules and the 
maintenance of the social order are 
valued. Right behavior consists of do- 
ing one's duty, showing respect for 
authority and maintaining the social 
order for its own sake. 


At this level there is a clear ellort 
to reach a personal definition of moral 
values — to define principles that 
have validity and application apart 
from the authority of groups or per- 
sons and apart from the individual's 
own identification with these groups. 
This level again has two stages: 

Stage 5: social-contract legalistic 
orientation. Generally, this stage has 
utilitarian overtones. Right action 
tends to be defined in terms of gen- 
eral individual rights and in terms of 
standards that have been critically 
examined and agreed upon by the 
whole society. There is a clear aware- 
ness of the importance of personal 

values and opinions and a corres- 
ponding emphasis on procedural 
rules for reaching consensus. Other 
than that which is constitutionally 
and democratically agreed upon, 
right is a matter of personal values 
and opinion. The result is an empha- 
sis both upon the "legal point of 
view" and upon the possibility of 
making rational and Socially desirable 
changes in the law, rather than freez- 
ing it as in the "law and order" stage 
4. Outside the legal realm, tree agree- 
ment is the binding element of obli- 
gation. This is the "official" morality 
of the U.S. government and the Con- 

Stage 6: universal ethical-principle 
orientation. Right is defined by the 
conscience in accord with self-chosen 
ethical principles, which in turn are 
based on logical comprehensiveness, 
universality and consistency. These 
principles are abstract and ethical 
(the golden rule, the categorical im- 
perative); they are not concrete moral 
rules like the Ten Commandments. 
At heart, these are universal princi- 
ples of justice, of the reciprocity and 
equality of human rights, and of re- 
spect for the dignity of human beings 
as individual persons. 

Fig. 11. Stages of moral development. (Source: Kohlberg and Whitten (1972). Reprinted 
by special permission from Learning, The Magazine for Creative Teaching, December 1972. 
© 1972 by Education Today Company Inc., 530 University Avenue, Palo Alto, Cali- 


132 Changing Images of Man 

Table 6 (c). (Descriptions of each of the stages are given in Fig. 11.)* 

Hampden-Turner (1971) has suggested that each of the dominant 
social sciences has a "hidden morality" that can be located in one of 
Kohlberg's categories, and that although most social sciences claim to 
eschew metaphysics, they make unverifiable moral assumptions that 
significantly affect their choice of methodology and criteria of valida- 
tion. Hampden-Turner concludes that only those social sciences that 
are consistent with Kohlberg's stage 6 have the demonstrated capacity 
to move from paradigm to paradigm (stressing congruence between 
and reconcilability of perspectives) despite dialectical tension. 

The Relevance of a Gradient of Awareness for an Adequate Image. What is 
the common characteristic of the various gradients we have reviewed? 
Recalling the operational definition of consciousness (the organization 
of the biosystem; with awareness as the psychological equivalent or 
complementary aspect of that organization), it seems reasonable to cast 
the image of ascending stages of evolution in terms of a gradient of 
awareness. As we come to higher stages of evolution, the attribute of 
consciousness comes to the fore. By this we mean the discovery of 
relationships and the making of choices — both individually and collec- 
tively — on the basis of understanding, appreciation, and judgement; 
and being influenced by a relevant context with its past, present, and 
future rather than being determined by instinct, habit, or some 
authority from another time and place. In this sense we speak of the 
evolution of consciousness manifest in hierarchical restructuring of our 
conceptions; and the derivative systems of thought, institutions, etc., 
through which we achieve coherent integration at higher orders of 
differentiation and complexity. 

We have only briefly sketched some of the thinking that leads to this 
conception. Other contributions which are in keeping with an ascend- 
ing gradient of awareness in evolution we have postulated: "this 
worldly" (e.g. D. Campbell, 1966; Polanyi, 1966; Weiss, 1969; Land, 
1973), "other worldly" (e.g. Cummins, 1952), and "trans worldly" (e.g. 
Hubbard, 1951; Aurobindo, 1963). (Land's book Grow or Die: The 
Unifying Principle of Transformation (1973), especially Chapter 10, 
elaborates this theme in more detail than we can do here.) Again, 
however, we are not here concerned whether these ways of thinking 
are right or wrong as judged by the methods of any one particular 
knowledge paradigm, but rather whether (1) they give us a vision of 
potential growth and further evolution beyond where we are now — a 

"To these dimensions, you might add Rollo May's five descending levels of power and 
five ascending kinds of power (Power and Innocence, Norton, 1972)." — Michael Marien 

The Feasibility of an Evolutionary Image of Man 133 

vision that accepts where (both as individuals and as a species) we are 
now, seeing ourselves now as being more highly evolved (in some ways, 
less in others) than was earlier man, and less highly evolved than we 
hope future man will be; and (2) they lay the conceptual beginnings of 
a general systems framework in which an integration of the various 
fragmented images of man — each of which can come to be seen as 
haying a restricted validity — becomes possible. At this state of know- 
ledge, then, we view the gradient of awareness more as useful 
metaphor than as proven theory. Indeed, as the review of limitations of 
sciences presented in Chapter 4 makes clear, it is likely not 
possible to prove whether or not such a view is valid. Rather we will 
have to estimate what results might flow from translating this — as 
opposed to some other image of humankind — into concrete policies for 
the resolution of societal problems and the fuller realization of the 
human potentialities. We attempt such an estimate in Chapter 8. 

The Self 

A second key element in our attempt to discover a more adequate, 
integrative image of man-in-the-universe concerns imagery regarding 
the nature of the self. In our culture, the dominant image which the 
person holds of himself is that of a separate and independent entity, as 
denoted by the very term "self" — defined by Webster's as "the person — 
having its own or a single nature or character." But even a cursory 
examination of the known facts of existence indicates that this is an 
unduly limited view, as explained below. 

Transpersonal and Personal Imagery. The most basic aspects of our being 
which we have portrayed as being at the lower level (the machine lan- 
guage aspects of the human biocomputer) we share in common with all 
other persons. Indeed, because of this commonality, one suspects that 
it is only this level which is usually comprehended in the phrase "the 
nature of man." The next stage in developing an integrative image 
of humankind is explored in Fig. 12, which shows these aspects as being 
frans personal rather than idiosyncratic to each person. Jung's phrase 
"the collective unconscious" seems particularly appropriate for this level. 

Coming up the gradient of awareness we observe the egoic and 
sensory level, where there is a valid perception of separateness between 
persons. The behaviors that are unique to this level, such as our use of 
sensory channels to communicate with other humans across the spatial 
distance that separates us, are typically perceived as manifesting 
freedom in the sense of their being freely chosen behavior under the 
unique control of each person as a separate entity. 


Changing Images of Man 

Transpersonal region of 
= shared consciousness . 

\ ^„. V ' 





To the beginnings 
of evolution 

I Transpersonal region of 
shared unconscious! eg 
racial memories, cultural 
and genetic inheritance) 

Fig. 12. A metaphorical image of the personal and transpersonal aspects of consciousness. 

But coming still further up our gradient of so-called awareness we 
find — if the reports of yogis (Patanjali, Prabhavananda, and Isherwood, 
1953), mystics (Reinhold, 1944), and some recent laboratory evidence 
(Tart, 1969; Backster, 1972) are to be believed — that things once again 
become transpersonal in nature. Perceptions become intuitive and 
"quasi-sensory" (to use the term coined by McBain, 1970), rather than 
stemming from the usual senses. And typically as higher levels are 
reached, subjective experiences of mind-sharing are often reported, as 
are experiences of a disconnectedness or transcendence from the usual 
constraints of time and space (see, for example, Tart, 1969, 1970). 
Indeed, it is likely that only when we are able to expand our scientific 
image of man to include phenomena at this level will we be able to 
develop adequate theories to account for the various psychic 
phenomena reviewed in Chapter 4. 

The schematicized integrative image of the person shown on Fig. 9 is 
therefore cast in the shape of the hour glass, or cone, thus connoting 
the ways in which one's nature is properly seen as transpersonal at the 
lower and upper reaches of existence and personal or unique in 

Evolutionary Image of Man 


between. More speculatively (but based on anecdotal reports from 
various researchers in the phenomenology of consciousness) we might 
add the symbol of infinity for the uppermost reaches of the map, and 
the phrase "to the beginnings of evolution" for the lowermost: if the 
ancedotal reports are to be believed, infinity and the "beginnings of 
evolution" can be subjectively experienced, and when experienced, 
tend to merge. F. W. H. Myers has formulated a different but similar 
conception, shown below in Fig. 13. 

Subsystem, System, and Supersystem Imagery. The ways in which a person 
is a separate and distinct system are but a small part of the ways in 
which he incorporates lower-level (sub) systems, and in which he is 
part of higher-order (super) systems. Displaying both the independent 
properties of wholes, and the dependent properties of parts, the 
person is a "holon." Other dimensions could be added as well, but as 
Fig. 14 shows, we now have the conceptual basis for a multi-dimen- 
sional systems-oriented image of person-in-the-universe that is indeed 
integrative in the ways desired. 

Before completing this image, we might pause to ask the important 
question: If the experience of individuality is but a small slit in all there 
is to the totality of our existence, where is the essence of the human 
person, the being (as opposed to the class) to be found? Echoing Koestler 
(1967), where is the "ghost in the machine;" It is here that the image of 
humankind espoused in the Perennial Philosophy probably provides the 
best single answer: 

The atma, the Self, is never born and never dies. It is without a cause and is 
eternally changeless. It is beyond time, unborn, permanent, and eternal. It does not 
die when the body dies. Concealed in the heart of all beings lies the atma, the Spirit, 
the Self; smaller than the smallest atom, greater than the greatest spaces. 

(The Upanishads, 1000 B.C.) 

— Group 

^fP Network lO>. 








Fig. 13. A personal-transpersonal mind/body model. Source: F. W. H. Myers, in Johnson 



Changing Images of Man 

Gradient of aggregation 

atoms, microbes, cells, organs, body, family, group, nation, planet, 




Fig. 14. Two of "N" possible dimensions of an integrative image of the person. 

Finally then, to represent this self that is (in terms of space and time) 
a "not-thing," we complete the pictorial version of our proposed 
composite image of humankind by adding the center as in Fig. 15. It 
might be represented by another shape (e.g. as in Assagioli's model 
shown earlier), but the tubular shape is often reported as the "feel" of 
those who experience meditation, and we agree in principle with 
Wilson (in press) that any adequate image will not be constructed, but 
rather seen through experience. 

Man as Process. If the vision of the Perennial Philosophy is at all valid, 
this Center is the only truly static image. All of the other images of the 
human which depict how the self manifests are but temporary, ever- 



Fig. 15. Transcendent-immanent aspects 
an integrative 

added to the personal-transpersonal aspects of 
image of the person. 

The Feasibility of an Evolutionary Image of Man 137 

changing attributes of that self. As Norbert Wiener (1954) observed: 

We are not stuff that abides, but patterns that perpetuate themselves; whirlpools of 
water in an ever-flowing river. 

How can the vision of the static self "hidden in all things" be usefully 
reconciled with the many visions of the quasi-static — but in reality, 
changing — visions of the visible self that we call a person? If the 
collective wisdom of the myths of various cultures is to be trusted, the 
way of reconciliation is illuminated by the Image of the Center (Eliade, 
1952). The idea of "moving from where we are not to where we most 
truly are" (William James) is well expressed in a now archaic meaning 
of the word "weird" (Anglo-Saxon wyrd), which is a word related to the 
German werden, "to become." Standing in direct contrast to the Indian 
notion of dharma or the current Western notions of socialization or 
conditioning (both of which see the individual as necessarily subject to 
the law imposed by society), weird is an unfolding from within of what 
is potential. (Note that this is also the essential meaning of the root 
word educere, "to bring forth, as something latent," from which our 
word educate derives.) In this image of reality — as with Eliot's (1935) 
"still point of the turning world. ... Where past and future are 
gathered" — the metaphysical ground of the person and what has 
brought him forth are one and the same. To realize this Center of 

Images of man 

Divine self 

Many-leveled self 
(astral, etc.) 

Existentially- free man 
Absurd man 

Conditioned man 
Economic man 

Animal-bestial man; 
Impulsive -irrational 

I i 
co Dominant aspects 

of consciousness 

Repressed man 
Dreaming man 

S pokesmen 

The Vedas, Perennial philosophy, etc. 


Rocicrucians.Theosophy, etc 


Humanists, NeoFreudians 

Sartrian existentialists 

I I 
I I 
Freud, Watson, Skin ner 


Freud, Lorenz, Ardrey, etc. 

I ! 

Jung \ 


Fig. 16. Composite metaphor of an integrative, evolutionary image of the person for the 


138 Changing Images of Man 

one's being is said to provide conceptual release from the tyranny of 
such polarities as creator and creature, good and evil, I and Thou, and 
freedom and determinism. 

But as all outward manifestations (or partial images) partake equally 
of this Center (as Fig. 16 depicts), we find that we now have the 
conceptual framework for an image of humankind which, as we shall 
see, comes very close to satisfying the characteristics we earlier pos- 

Examining the New Image for Conceptual Feasibility 

If one agrees that the thrust of evolution seems to be toward greater 
"consciousness" (i.e. increasing organization of the bio-system, with 
"awareness" as the psychological equivalent or complementary aspect 
of that organization), the above framework provides the needed im- 
agery for evolutionary growth, direction, and a holistic sense of mean- 
ing of life. It gives an open-ended and experimental sense of some- 
thing to grow toward (both personally and culturally). Pursuit of higher 
states of awareness; increasing ability to integrate knowledge and to 
coordinate and balance the relative needs of the subsystem/sys- 
tem/supersystem relationships; and exploration of personal, inter- 
personal, and transpersonal aspects of existence — each of these con- 
tributes to the emergence of an "ecological ethic" and a "self-realiza- 
tion ethic"; to coordinated "satisficing"; and to goals of "ephe- 
meralization" that are consistent with limits to growth of materialism. 
(The term "thrust" has been chosen to describe this progress toward 
greater complexity and consciousness, not to denote the goal of evolu- 
tion, but rather the path it seems to take. Goal is a term which is 
associated with the conceptual paradigm of linear causality; it is this 
paradigm that somehow must be transcended, if only in part. It is for 
this reason also that we have singled out Dunn's term "process 
teleology," because it explicitly avoids the difficulties of the older 
concepts of vitalism and teleology. f) 

* See Note A, p. 160. 

f "This is good, but instead of a linear hierarchy (instead of envisioning the system in 
terms of our old way of looking at things) how about something on the order of a 
circular model (uruborus like) — where the dreaming man of Jung would be circulatory, 
cyclicly linked to the superconscious man, in a visual system that implies ongoing 
progress?" — Stanley Krippner 

"I find this model most interesting, especially the way it incorporates the 'absolutes' of 
existence at both of its extremes. ... A good starting point for further work." [Para- 
phrased from] — Margaret Mead 

The Feasibility of an Evolutionary Image of Man 139 

To illustrate how the holistic image portrayed by this framework 
could adequately incorporate and reconcile the more specialized im- 
ages of humankind at various levels of development, some additional 
discussion is necessary. 

We postulate that each of the various specialized images presented in 
Chapter 2 and displayed in Figs. 9 and 16 is appropriate to a given 
context or situation that has repeatedly been in human experience — 
which is why they exist in the image repertory of our various cultures. 
We further observe that to the extent which the person cannot manifest 
in an appropriate situation any of the various "ways of being" con- 
noted by the gradient of awareness, to that extent the person is 
deficient in ways that limit his flexibility in dealing with a changing 
environment — hence limit the survival potential of the race. The ability 
to fight effectively (physically or psychologically) when one's survival 
(physical or mental) is threatened; the ability to experience aesthetic 
pleasure, to marvel at the mystery of existence, and to transcend one's 
individuality in a direct sense of participation in that mystery when 
appropriate — each of these is a part of the human experience through 
which each of us should be able to flow in and out as fitting. The point 
is not that one should necessarily fight, cooperate, or meditate in any or 
in all circumstances (nor should one necessarily impugn others for so 
doing), but rather that one should be able to do (and accept others 
doing) any of these things when they fit. All partake of the Center. 

Needless to say, trade-offs are involved and coordination of different 
behaviors is required. As Jonas Salk (1973) has observed: 

The conflict in the human realm is now between "self-expression" and "self-restraint" 
within the individual, as the effect of cultural evolutionary processes has reduced 
external restraint upon the individual.* 

While easy mobility across the various levels portrayed by the 
gradient of awareness is clearly in the interests of the survival of the 
human race and of the fulfillment of each individual's potentialities, 
such freedom needs to be exercised by the restraint that can derive in 
our era only from a holistic perspective of life, growth, and evolution. 

For these reasons we emphasize the need for development of im- 
agery of person-as-(in)-process; for a vision of growth not as in getting 
above persons at one level after another (as some occultists are wont to 
do), but rather in the expansion of awareness in both more and less 

"A reduction of external restraint upon the individual? Tell it to Amalrik, Sol- 
zhenitsyn, and Sakharov. For that matter, I would like to see the evidence for such a 
trend in this country." — Michael Marien 

140 Changing Images of Man 

inclusive directions; in the gaining of choices of appropriate behaviors 
that partake of all levels but are coordinated by the more inclusive 
ones; and in learning to dissolve fixations at any given level, hence 
being more able continuously to flow from a predominant orientation 
at one level to one at another, according to the needs of the environ- 
ment and in appropriately coordinated growth. 

It is primarily in the above sense that we believe that a holistic image 
such as the framework depicts could adequately integrate the various 
aspects and past images of humankind without blurring or invalidating 
their uniqueness; for only in this way will we have an ontological basis 
for tolerance of difference and change. 

There are some difficulties with the framework as presented above. 
The main one is that it is — in keeping with the dominant conceptual 
paradigm of Western culture — essentially hierarchical in nature. Thus 
not only is the conception somewhat culture-bound; it does not easily 
integrate newly emerging mutual-causal thoughts in science. Other 
cultures have dominant conceptual paradigms that are essentially non- 
hierarchical and are more mutualistic as regards knowledge, ecology, 
and human development.* As the anthropologist Maruyama has poin- 
ted out (1960, 1963, 1967, 1973) many functions of concern to a society 
are more usefully fulfilled by non-hierarchically structured paradigms. 
But Maruyama also notes that when a hierarchical/self-righteous and a 
mutualistic/symbiotic paradigm have come into intercultural contact, 
the self-righteous paradigm has an almost irresistible tendency to run 
over the mutualistic one. 

A somewhat different but related problem arises in connection with 
the exclusivist interpretation the Judeo-Christian tradition has put on 
transcendental images of man. There appears to be a basic contradic- 
tion contained in this tradition between the exclusivist (as in "no man 
cometh to the Father but through me") and the universalist (God as 
omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent, therefore all that is, is God). 
The exclusivist is the tendency that has captured the popular im- 
agination in the mainstream religious traditions of our culture. But this 
turns out to be not so much one side of a contradiction as one arm of a 
dialectic, one element of a paradox. 

Better understood, these difficulties turn out to be based in misunder- 
standings (which is not to say that they will not be very real difficulties 
in a communication or political sense). They arise from having to use 

"I fail to see how any non-hierarchical system of thought and organization can provide 
the needed coordination across different levels of aggregation. What is necessary, is 
that the coordination be from the 'inside out' as it were, and not from the top down, as 
the hierarchical notion is so often interpreted." — [Paraphrased from] Edgar Dunn, Jr. 

The Feasibility of an Evolutionary Image of Man 141 

traditional language to express what are essentially non-traditional, 
"non-paradigm" concepts. 

Thus we have used words such as "gradient," "thrust," and 
"hierarchy" when describing the evolutionary trend toward greater 
complexity and consciousness. We have used diagrams and tables 
which may seem to imply progression from "primitive" to "sophisti- 
cated," or "lower" to "higher." This may seem to imply an elitist view 
of human evolution. It might have been helpful to adopt a circular 
model in which, for example, the dreaming man of Jung would be 
cyclicly linked to the superconscious man in a visional system that 
implied on-going process. But substituting one metaphor or visual 
image for another simply seemed to change the nature of the difficulty. 

The problem appears to be primarily that reality is so much richer, 
so much more multidimensional than any metaphor, that all maps of 
reality lead to difficulties if they are mistakenly assumed to be literally 
true. Thus reality is hierarchical in one sense and not in another, and 
man is separate, seeking self-fulfillment and yet part of a unity in a 
sense that makes self-fulfillment illusory. The "higher" forms of con- 
sciousness may be similar to the psychic abilities of "lower" forms of 
life (for example, household pets, dolphins, plants) in a way that makes 
the latter as "sophisticated" as the highest transcendental charac- 
teristics evolving in the human species. 

Thus it would appear that an emergent world-wide image of 
humankind, satisfying the conditions identified in Chapter 5, is concep- 
tually feasible, providing we remain clear that it is an image, or a set of 
metaphors, and that its real function is to lead toward the direct 
experiencing of what it can only incompletely and inadequately 


We want now to examine the conditions under which such a new 
image of man might emerge to a commanding position in the society. 
One condition, inherent in the fundamental characteristics of Chapter 
5, is that it probably cannot be engineered or manipulated into such a 
position. Safer, at any rate, is a process whereby the new image is 
fostered by some and resisted by others, such that the principles of 
checks and balances, and of creative synthesis of differences, are 
allowed to operate. 

Essentially, we shall: 

1. review the process through which both cultures and persons 
appear to evolve in response to crisis; 

142 Changing Images of Man 

2. draw inferences as to how transformational discovery and the 
emergence of a new image of man can appropriately or in- 
appropriately be fostered; 

3. consider various indications that personal and institutional trans- 
formation, and the emergence of moral paradigms, are feasible 
without being caused to happen. 

Evolutionary Transformation in Response to Crisis 

It seems clear that today we are living in an ecological system in 
which higher-order systems coordinate the interactions of lower-order 
subsystems, an ecology in which there is an increasing ability of higher 
organisms to make symbolic maps of reality, to test and to improve 
those maps. Thus, in the evolutionary battle for survival, it may be 
possible "for our ideas to die in our stead" (Popper). In the evolution 
from phylogenesis (natural selection through mutation and genetic 
recombination) through ontogenesis (the ability of a highly developed 
organism to "reprogram" itself within limits and modify its behavior to 
suit environmental changes) to sociogenesis (the accumulation of 
acquired behavior through symbolic communication), the trend that 
stands out is the power and utility of consciousness. This manifests 
itself as the ability to map the various dimensions of existence, both 
physical and symbolic, and to use those maps for "behavior directed to 
changing behavior" (Dunn, 1972). 

A crisis is often the catalyst for the redrawing of one's preferred 
"map." Inasmuch as this is precisely the direction in which our culture 
appears to be heading, it is useful to review the processes of crisis- 
oriented transformation in other cultures, in science, in mythology, in 
persons. All these may contain insights that could prove applicable to 
the resolution of our difficulties. 

Cultural Transformations 

What happens when, because of environmental changes, military 
defeat, or intercultural invasion (e.g. by a new technology), a culture no 
longer adequately serves its essential functions? If the degree of per- 
ceived crisis is not too great, the classic processes of cultural change 
(evolution, drift, diffusion, historical change, acculturation) take place; 
if, on the other hand, the degree of perceived crisis is acute, cultural 
transformation is likely to occur rapidly. 

The anthropologist Anthony F. C. Wallace (1956) in a comparative 
study of the crisis-motivated type of cultural change derived a series of 

The Feasibility of an Evolutionary Image of Man 143 

idealized stages through which many such transformations — if success- 
ful — have passed. Especially relevant for our purposes are Wallace's 
findings on how images of the role of self and society have changed in 
other societies in response to crisis. He discovered that unlike classic 
culture change, the process of revitalization requires explicit intent by 
members of the society and often takes place within one generation : 

The structure of the revitalization process, in cases where the full course is run, 
consists of somewhat overlapping stages: 1. Steady State; 2. Period of Individual 
Stress; 3. Period of Cultural Distortion; 4. Period of Revitalization (in which occur 
the functions of mazeway reformulation, communication, organization, adaption, 
cultural transformation, and routinization); and finally 5. New Steady State, (p. 264) 

The key element in the process of transformation is what Wallace 
terms the "mazeway," which the following shows is almost synonymous 
with our term "image of man-in-the-universe": 

It is . . . functionally necessary for every person in society to maintain a mental 
image of the society and its culture, as well as of his own body and its behavioral 
regularities, in order to act in ways which reduce stress at all levels of the system. 
The person does, in fact, maintain such an image. This mental image I have called 
"the mazeway," since as a model of the cell-body-personality-nature-culture-society 
system or field, organized by the individual's own experience, it includes perceptions 
of both the maze of physical objects in the environment (internal and external, 
human and nonhuman) and also of the ways in which this maze can be manipulated 
by the self and others in order to minimize stress. The mazeway is nature, society, 
culture, personality, and body image as seen by one person. . . . Changing the 
mazeway involves changing the total Gestalt of his image of self, society, and culture, 
of nature and body, and of ways of action. It may also be necessary to make changes 
in the "real" system in order to bring mazeway and "real" system into congruence. 
The effort to work a change in mazeway and "real" system together so as to permit more 
effective stress reduction is the effort at revitalization; and the collaboration of a number 
of persons in such an effort is called a revitalization movement, (pp. 266 ff. Emphasis 

Whether the revitalization movement is religious or secular, the 

. . . seems to depend on a restructuring of elements and subsystems which have 
already attained currency in the society and may even be in use. . . . The occasion of 
their combination in a form which constitutes an internally consistent 
structure . . . and of their acceptance by the prophet as a guide to action, is abrupt 
and dramatic, usually occurring as a moment of insight, a brief period of realization of 
relationships and opportunities. The reformulation also seems normally to occur in its 
initial form in the mind of a single person rather than to grow directly out of group 
deliberations, (p. 270. Emphasis added) 

After mazeway reformulation come adaption, cultural transfor- 
mation, and routinization, during which the idealism of the original 
vision is modified in response to cultural feedback; it tends to be 

144 Changing Images of Man 

preserved only in those areas where the movement "maintains respon- 
sibility for the preservation of doctrine and performance of ritual," in 
other words, it becomes a church, whether religious or secular. 

Conceptual Revolutions in Science 

Studying the history of science, Thomas S. Kuhn recognized a 
similar pattern. In his somewhat controversial The Structure of Scientific 
Revolutions (1962), Kuhn's use of the "knowledge paradigm" and the 
cycle through which knowledge paradigms are replaced is almost 
analogous to Wallace's use of the term "mazeway." The term know- 
ledge paradigm is used to denote 

. . . the collection of ideas within the confines of which scientific inquiry takes place, 
the assumed definition of what are legitimate problems and methods, the accepted 
practice and point of view with which the student prepared for membership in the 
scientific community, the criteria for choosing problems to attack, the rules and 
standards of scientific practice, (p. 11) 

Such a knowledge paradigm has a well-understood set of exemplars 
or precedents that define a field of inquiry, determine the rules that 
govern the formulations of new problems, and specify acceptable forms 
of solutions. Thus, the paradigm can only exist if there is a shared 
commitment to certain beliefs, such as that the molecules of a gas 
behave like tiny elastic billiard balls, or that certain kinds of procedures 
should be used for experimentation, or that some topics are ap- 
propriate for scientific investigation and others not. Its communicants 
must also agree on the meaning of symbolic representations, as in 
mathematics. Finally, its communicants must share relevant values, 
such as the importance of making predictive versus non-predictive 
explanations, the appropriateness of imposing social concerns during 
problem formulation, and the degree of simplicity demanded in 

Such a knowledge paradigm bears the same relation to the laws and 
rules in a field of scientific inquiry as do the myths and rituals in a 
pre-scientific society. That is, they are considered by many to be the 
fundamental units influencing the scientific research process.* 

The excitement generated by Kuhn's work rests not so much with his 
formulation of the knowledge paradigm, however, as with his potrayal 
of the dynamics with which such paradigms are created and replaced. 
Rather than aim at novelty, in Kuhn's view normal science attempts to 

* See Note B, p. 160 

The Feasibility of an Evolutionary Image of Man 145 

actualize the promise offered by the existing paradigm. But it results 
almost invariably in the exposure of anomalies between expectations 
based on the paradigm and fact. Thus, as noted in Chapter 4, as such 
anomalies grow more numerous, we see the recurring emergence of 
crises and the development of new paradigms which embrace both the 
old paradigms and the anomalous data that the old could not deal with 
adequately. Kuhn has noted that this transformational process typically 
passes through four stages: preparadigm research, normal science, 
crisis, and revolution. 

Similarities between Scientific and Cultural Revitalization 

Seeking as we are useful patterns from history to guide our thinking 
for the future, it is interesting to compare Kuhn's and Wallace's 
analyses.* In normal times (steady state : : normal science) the func- 
tioning of the dominant images and ways of doing (mazeway : : know- 
ledge paradigm) are considered adequate. However, when these 
become inadequate (individual stress/cultural distortion : : crisis) the 
responses are many and varied, but take predictable forms. Some 
individuals avoid facing the difficulties (undergo chronic high level 
stress : : avoid the anomalies) and assume that a continuation of 
ordinary means of problem-solving will suffice; others call for a return 
to fundamentals. Expressions of discontent increase, however, and a 
"creative minority" (Martin, 1955) turns from searches for incremental 
ways of problem-solving to searches for fundamental reconcep- 
tualization of the facts. Inevitably the legitimacy of these searches is 
difficult to obtain from the established authorities, unless the percep- 
tion of crisis becomes widespread. 

Although the discovery and application of the new reconceptualization 
(revitalization : : revolution) is a complicated process and occurs over an 
extended period of time, the moment of discovery of the desired 
conceptual reformulation occurs not by deliberation and interpretation, 
but by a relatively sudden and unstructured conceptual event like the 
Gestalt reversal. Like the charismatic leaders of revitalization movements, 
scientists often speak of "scales falling from the eyes" or of a "lightning 
flash" that illuminates a previously obscure puzzle, enabling them to 

"The use of Anthony Wallace's analysis of cargo cults as a parallel to Kuhn is very bad; 

[it is] an undiscriminating use of material." — Margaret Mead 

"The citations from my writing on Revitalization Movements in Chapter 6 very well 

represented my views." — Anthony F. C. Wallace 

"[The] basic concept that we need a new knowledge paradigm, and the use of 

Kuhn/Wallace is excellent." — Elise Boulding 

146 Changing Images of Man 

see its components in a new way. Though such intuitions depend on 
experience, both anomalous and congruent, gained with the old 
paradigm, they are not logically linked to particular items of that 
experience as an interpretation would be. Instead, large portions of 
that experience are gathered and transformed into a "rather different 
bundle of experience" and "thereafter . . . linked piecemeal to the new 
paradigm but not to the old" (Kuhn, 1962, pp. 122 ff., also cited in 
Wirt, Lieberman, and Levien, 1971, p. 55). 

A significant difference between the scientific revolutions and the 
cultural revitalization movements stems from the fact that scientific 
inquiry can incorporate a much wider range of difference than can the 
institutions of a culture — although Kuhn observes that established 
scientists often find it difficult if not impossible to convert to the newly 
emergent paradigm from the one in which they have invested their 
professional lives, so that the new paradigm is often fully accepted only 
with a new generation of scientists. Wallace observes that the trans- 
formation of an entire culture takes place only when and if the purity 
of the original vision is adapted (in response to resistance that is 
encountered) by "adding to, emphasizing, playing down, and eliminat- 
ing selected elements of it" (1956, p. 274). 

Other scholars (e.g. Toynbee, 1935; Quigley, 1961; Mumford, 1956) 
who have reviewed the rise and transformation (or fall) of civilizations 
have deduced similar series of stages that portray what we might call 
"the cycle of transformation." Before trying to deduce the implications 
of these findings for our own situation, it is useful to consider similar 
patterns that can be found in the literature of mythology and of 

Mythic Transformations 

As various scholars have noted (e.g. Boisen, 1962; Erikson, 1958) 
often those individuals who bring the new reconceptualizations to 
society have had personal problems which were similar in form or 
which were significantly related to those of the larger society. In 
resolving their own problems they presented visible resolutions to the 
problems of their culture, and vice versa. This characteristic of the 
hero is in fact so common throughout the transformation myths of 
different times and places that Joseph Campbell (1956) has used the 
term "the monomyth" to describe it: 

The standard path of the mythological adventure of the hero is a magnification of 
the formula represented in the rites of passage: separation — initiation — return: which 
might be named the nuclear unity of the monomyth. ... (p. 30) 

The Feasibility of an Evolutionary Image of Man 147 

The composite hero of the monomyth . . . and/or the world in which he finds 
himself suffers from a symbolical deficiency. In fairy tales this might be as slight as 
the lack of a certain golden ring, whereas in apocalyptic vision the physical and 
spiritual life of the whole earth can be represented as fallen, or on the point of 
falling, into ruin. 

Typically the hero of the fairy tale achieves a domestic microcosmic triumph, and the 
hero of myth a world-historical, macrocosmic triumph. Whereas the former — the 
youngest or despised child who becomes the master of extraordinary powers — prevails 
over his personal oppressors, the latter brings back from his adventure the means for the 
regeneration of his society as a whole, (pp. 37 ff.) 

The basic pattern is clear: 

Whether the hero be ridiculous or sublime, Greek or barbarian, Gentile or Jew, his 
journey varies little in essential plan. Popular tales represent the heroic action as 
physical; the higher religions show the deed to be moral; nevertheless, there will be 
found astonishingly little variation in the morphology of the adventure, the charac- 
ter roles involved, the victories gained, (p. 38) 

Just as the mythological here often suffers from a defect that spurs 
him on to action, so many of the great men of history have not been 
typically the product of carefree, "well-adjusted" homes (Goertzel and 
Goertzel, 1962). Nor do such persons typically adjust in a conformist 
fashion to personal and social realities which to them seem filled with 
anomalies. Rather, they attempt to resolve the dissonant elements 
of their life in creative ways, which is the central goal of psycho- 

Personal Transformations 

Although the literature of psychotherapy is so varied that it is 
difficult to make any clean and clear-cut generalizations, a pattern does 
emerge from writers who attempt to describe the process of crisis- 
motivated personal transformation. From the writings of Boisen 
(1936/1962), Martin (1955), Sullivan (1953), Fingarette (1963), and Kan- 
tor and Herron (1966) we derive the following series of stages that seem 
to typify this process: 

1. Adequate mastery of one's life: reliance on defense mechanisms 
(e.g. denial, repression, sublimation). 

2. Inadequate mastery of one's life: anxiety and disintegration. 

3. Looking for causes: blame and guilt. 

4. Finding causes: acceptance of responsibility. 

5. Looking for new solutions: openness to seeing things anew both in 
the inner world and in the outer world. 

148 Changing Images of Man 

6. Finding new solutions: insights that reformulate one's existential 
conceptions and reintegrate the personality. 

7. Applying new solutions: learning new modes of behavior that test 
and apply the new perspective with increased mastery of one's 

8. New level of adequacy: open-ended growth and learning as nor- 
mal behavior. 

Although there is insufficient space to discuss these stages here, it is 
useful to note their similarity to those in science and myth. 

Synthesis and Inference 

We now draw the various observations of personal, scientific, and 
cultural transformation together in order to draw any inferences that 
might increase the operational feasibility of a new, more adequate 
image of humankind. Table 7 summarizes the idealized stages of the 
"cycle of transformation" that has been formulated by different 
scholars.* Although numerous examples of creativity can be found 
which do not fit this cycle of transformation, the overall pattern seems 
typical of the crisis -motivated transformations that have occurred 
repeatedly in a wide variety of settings in place and time. 

In the general creativity literature the common elements to this cycle 
have been termed preparation, incubation, illumination, and 
verification (G. Wallace, 1926). 

First comes the testing of conventional approaches and finding them 
wanting ("preparation"). 

The next step ("incubation") often necessitates making what P. W. 
Martin (1955) has termed "the experiment in depth," the deliberate 
setting aside of assumptions that are conventionally made about reality, 
and engaging in techniques or activities that open up one's self to more 
primal and direct perceptions of reality which are less strongly filtered by 
convention. As these sources of creativity are not yet generally under- 
stood, access to them is for most persons a rather random and un- 
controlled process. Hence the term "incubation," which suggests the 

"It should be pointed out that A. F. C. Wallace's theorizing is not conceptually 
independent of the psychotherapeutic schools of thought. Being an anthropologist of 
the 'culture and personality' emphasis, Wallace was very much influenced by psy- 
choanalytic thought. Also it should not be thought that his work tells how crisis- 
oriented cultural change actually takes place; rather his work is an abstract construction 
of this process. Also his work was not based on his own field studies, but rather on 
literature sources. If it had been based on field studies, it is quite possible that his 
conclusions (especially about the charismatic leader) would have been very 
different." — Luther Gerlach 

Table 7 


(J. Campbell) 

Cultural revitalization 
(A. Wallace) 

Scientific resolution 
(T. Kuhn) 

(O. Markley) 

General creativity 
(G. Wallace) 


1. Separation 

2. Initiation 

3. Return 

1. Steady state 

2. Period of individ- 
ual stress 

3. Period of cul- 
tural distortion 

4. Period of revital- 

- reformulation 

- communication 

- organization 
-cultural trans- 

- routinization 

5. New steady state 

1. Normal science 

2. Growth of anom- 

3. Crisis 

4. Revolution 

5. Normal science 
in new paradigm 

1. Normal defence 

2. Anxiety and dis- 

3. Blame and guilt 

4. Acceptance of 

5. Looking for new 

6. Insight/reformu- 

7. Testing and ap- 

8. Open-ended 
change and growth 
as "normal" 

1. Preparation 

2. Incubation 

3. Illumination 

4. Verification 








150 Changing Images of Man 

cessation of deliberate attempts to force insight.* Two quotations describe 
the process: 

"Cease striving; then there will be self-transformation." 

(Chuang-Tse, Book XI) 

"Whosoever shall seek to gain his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life shall 
preserve it." 

(Luke 17:33) 

The moment of insight (illumination), as we observed in connection 
with the cultural revitalization movements and creation of scientific 
paradigms, occurs with vivid clarity and suddenness, is abrupt and 
dramatic, "a brief period of realization of relationships" (A. Wallace, 
1956, p. 270) that "inundates a previously obscure puzzle, enabling its 
components to be seen in a new way for the first time" (Kuhn, 1962, 
pp. 122 ff.). Thus, the moment of sudden insight seems to be an 
element common to radical discovery and transformation — both mythic 
and scientific. We might well apply to this type of reconceptualization 
of the Greek word for religious conversion, metanoia, that is, a fun- 
damental transformation of mind (Pearce, 1971). 

Finally there is the task of validating the knowledge (verification) and 
bringing it to fruition for self and society. 

Such processes of discovery may be termed heroic not so much 
because they parallel the classic stages of separation, initiation, and 
return of the hero in the monomyth, but because they require in- 
ordinate courage in the face of fear. They involve not only the 
possibilities of failure, but require confronting the truly unknown; and 
confronting as well the sure knowledge that successful discovery will 
inevitably upset the established patterns of one's existence. It will likely 
mean drastic personal and psychic change. In this connection, Abraham 
Maslow (1962) has written eloquently about "the need to know and the 
fear of knowing." 

What does all of this mean for our society today? Are we to conclude 
that the answer to our problems is to be found in the chance occur- 
rence of a revelation or intuitive breakthrough by one or a few 
individuals who will then become the charismatic leaders of a true- 
believer revitalization movement? Such an occurrence is not at all 
unlikely if other approaches have not been developed before the prob- 
lems of our late industrial era reach truly crisis proportions, and it 

"[Regarding the] operational feasibility of transformation, Reza Arasteh's work should 
be included. Like Chuang-Tse, he calls for an 'existential moratorium' so that society 
can reintegrate at a higher level. Dabrowski also calls for what he calls 'positive 
disintegration' so that a higher level individual integration may take place." — Robert A. 
Smith, III. 

The Feasibility of an Evolutionary Image of Man 151 

would undoubtedly result in a high degree of disruption and chaos 
throughout society. But other approaches are possible. 

We now know something about the nature of the creative person. 
For example, a study of research observations that were made during 
the process of scientific discovery found that scientists considered to be 
unusually creative in productive ways are: 

(1) of superior measured intelligence; (2) exceptionally independent in judgment 
and resistant to group-endorsed opinions; (3) marked by a strong need for order 
and for perceptual closure, combined with a resistance to premature closure and an 
interest in what may appear as disorder, contradiction, imbalance, or very complex 
balance whose ordering principle is not immediately apparent; (4) unusually ap- 
preciative of the intuitive and non-rational elements in their own nature; (5) 
distinguished by their profound commitment to the search for esthetic and philoso- 
phical meaning in all experience. 

(Barron, 1969, p. 102) 

Additionally, it now appears possible to combine the insights of 
science, art, and religion so as systematically to reduce the fear of (yet) 
unknown discovery and to foster the abilities of normal persons to 
discover and apply more of their creative potential. Such approaches as 
Synectics (Gordon, 1961), group dynamics (Bradford, Gibb, and Benne, 
1964), Psychosynthesis (Assagioli, 1965), Scientology (Hubbard, 1954), 
psychedelic drugs (Masters and Houston, 1966; Aaronson and 
Osmond, 1970), integral yoga (Chaudhuri, 1965), self-hypnosis (Kripp- 
ner, 1969), biofeedback training (R0rvik, 1973), small conferencing 
(Mead and Byers, 1968), imagistic thinking (Krippner, 1967), specific 
educational programs (Barron, 1969), and others (Peterson, 1971) typify 
the diversity of ways in which one or a group of individuals, with an 
appropriate "set and setting,"* can be helped to make the type of 
conceptual breakthroughs here being discussed. If the emerging 
"science of consciousness" discussed in Chapter 4 is turned toward 
these ends, it seems obvious that even more effective approaches would 

* "Set" refers to the expectations of the participant and "setting" to the physical, 
psychological, and spiritual context in which a given growth or therapeutic process is 
experienced. These two variables have been found to significantly affect the outcomes 
of creative processes. See Sherwood, J. N. et al., "The psychedelic experience — A new 
concept in psychotherapy," Journal of Neuropsychiatry, Vol. 4 (December 1962), pp. 

f "All of these techniques are aimed at the individual, rather than his social setting. Until 
you can make institutions receptive if not promotive (see John Gardner, Self -Renewal — 
infinitely better than anything you mention here) to creativity, there will be a dis- 
junction between individual and institution, creating greater frustration for the char- 
ged-up newly creative with no place to go. Incidentally, I would much prefer that 
emphasis be on the broader concept of excellence." — Michael Marien 

Note: See also Elise Boulding's compelling statement of "The Spiritual Dimension of the 
Human Person" in Appendix A. 

152 Changing Images of Man 

We are not simplistically advocating that society needs a great man to 
lead us to a new image of the nature of man. It may be that because of 
the new approaches for self-exploration, the communication flow 
which makes esoteric ideas and processes more available, and the 
exchange of shared and vicarious experience, many persons may find 
themselves on the path of the adventurer, reflecting first the stress and 
problems of the society, then opening themselves to new insights and 
direct perceptions of reality which are less strongly filtered by the 
current paradigms and myths, and finally emerging to see the world in 
new ways. 

As Joseph Campbell (1968) has observed: 

For even in the sphere of Waking Consciousness, the fixed and the steadfast, there is 
nothing now that endures. The known God cannot endure. Whereas formerly, for 
generations, life so held to established norms that the lifetime of a deity could be 
reckoned in millenia, today all norms are in flux, so that the individual is thrown, 
willy-nilly, back upon himself, into the inward sphere of his own becoming, his forest 
adventurous without way or path, to come through his own integrity in experience to 
his own intelligible Castle of the Grail — integrity and courage in experience, in love, 
in loyalty, and in act. And to this end the guiding myths can no longer be of any 
ethnic norms. No sooner learned, these are outdated, out of place, washed away. 
There are today no mythogenetic zones. Or rather, the mythogenetic zone is the 
individual heart. Individualism and spontaneous pluralism — the free association of 
men and women of like spirit, under the protection of a secular, rational state with 
no pretensions to divinity — are in the modern world the only honest possibilities: 
each the creative center of authority for himself, in Cusanus's circle without 
circumference whose center is everywhere, and where each is the focus of God's 
gaze. (p. 677) 

We would thus hope not for a handful, but for a thousand heroes, 
ten thousand heroes — who will create a future image of what human- 
kind can be. 

Institutional and Personal Change 

The needed transformation cannot occur without both personal and 
institutional change. Institutional change depends on the actions of 
individuals, but it is unrealistic to expect personal illumination to 
become effective in any widespread way unless our institutions — which 
are locked into the mores of industrialism — are suitably modified. How 
can we break this cycle? 

Imagining Makes It So 

As a result of a career in psychotherapy and facilitation of personal 
growth, Frederik S. Perls, the originator of Gestalt Therapy, concluded 

The Feasibility of an Evolutionary Image of Man 153 

that "we cannot deliberately bring about changes in ourselves or in 
others," that people who try to do so end up typically "dedicating their 
lives to actualize a concept of what they should be like, rather than to 
actualize themselves. This difference between se//-actualizing and self- 
image actualizing is very important" (Perls, 1969, p. 19). This is perhaps 
the essence of the difference between what Boulding (1964) termed the 
"scientific" approach and the "ideological" approach to progress. The 
contrast provides a needed precaution to overzealous attempts to 
proselytize on behalf of a new image of humankind for our society. 

Although Perls' assertion may seem paradoxical to us, caught up as 
we are in the rational-manipulative paradigm of industrialism, it is a 
view that has been repeated through history. For example, from a 
variety of periods and disciplines come the following conclusions: 

• Every idea which exclusively occupies the mind is transformed into an actual physical 
or mental state. (Brooks, 1022, p. 18) 

• The efforts we make to conquer an idea by exerting the will only serve to make the 
idea more powerful. (Brooks, 1922, p. 19) 

• So long as the imagination is adverse to the conscious mind, effort of the conscious 
will produces a contrary effect. We must think rightly, or rather must imagine 
rightly, before we can will rightly. In a word, our formula must not be "who wills 
can," but "who imagines can." (Baudouin, 1922, p. 10) 

• The most significant phenomena of autosuggestion occur in the domain of the 
unconscious. (Baudouin, 1922, p. 10) 

• The basic law of autosuggestion is: Every idea which enters the conscious mind, if it 
is accepted by the Unconscious, is transformed by it into a reality and forms henceforth 
a permanent element in our life. (Brooks, 1922, pp. 54-55) 

• "Merely to be attracted to any set of ... ideas does not bring with it any 
realisation. ... A mere mental activity will not bring a change of consciousness, it can 
only bring a change of mind. And if your mind is sufficiently mobile, it will go on 
changing from one thing to another till the end without arriving at any sure way or 
any spiritual harbour. The mind can think and doubt and question and accept and 
withdraw its acceptance, make formations and unmake them, pass decisions and 
revoke them, judging always on the surface and by surface indications and therefore 
never coming to any deep and firm experience of Truth, but by itself it can do no 
more. There are only three ways by which it can make itself a channel or instrument 
of Truth. Either it must fall silent in the Self and give room for a wider and greater 
consciousness; or it must make itself passive to an inner light and allow that light to 
use it as a means of expression; or else it must itself change from the questioning 
intellectual superficial mind it now is to an intuitive intelligence, a mind of vision fit 
for the direct perception of the divine Truth." — Sri Aurobindo (On Yoga: II, Tome 
One, p. 174). 

• Underneath all the reasoning, inductions, deductions, calculations, demonstrations, 
methods, and logical apparatus of every sort, there is something animating them that 
is not understood, that is the work of that complex operation, the constructive 
imagination. (Ribot, Essay on the Creative Imagination, quoted in Johnson, 1957, p. 38) 

• [In experiments using altered states of consciousness to increase creativity, we find 
that] people get into imagistic thinking. That is, pictorial thinking as opposed to 
sequential, verbal thinking. With imagistic thinking, there is a tendency to see whole 
constellations of information as a picture, a coded symbol, or a series of flowing 
symbolic forms . . . such free inter-space exploration was always blocked by religious 
dogma on the one hand or by scientific dogma on the other. . . . Visionary experience 

154 Changing Images of Man 

does tend to be heretical. It is a tuning in on the creative process, and so it will not 
obey the laws of any particular religion or political system. . . . And this imagistic 
thinking is often attended by an increase of enthusiasm. (Masters and Houston, 
quoted in Avorn, 1973, p. 17) 

• Man is made by his belief. . . as he believes, so he is. (Bhagavad Gita) 

• As man thinketh in his heart, so he is. (Proverbs 23 : 7 of the Bible) 

• In order to live wisely, men must have a sense of participation in a uniting purpose 
understandable to all, vital enough and noble enough to be the object of a common 
sense of dedication. (Andrea, ca. 1700, cited in Hall, 1958, p. 107) 

• The rise and fall of images of the future precede or accompany the rise and fall of 
cultures. (Polak, 1973, p. 19) 

If these observations are at all valid (and their validity is essentially 
untestable within the presently dominant paradigms of science), they 
are important insights from which to draw social-policy implications. 

First, it becomes imperative to note the likely consequences of the 
type of image that is portrayed in the various artistic media. If the 
future is portrayed in primarily dystopian terms, a dystopian image of 
humankind will prevail in the collective unconscious of the culture. But 
as Margaret Mead has noted (1957): 

... all visions of heaven, in this world and in the next, have a curious tasteless, pale 
blue and pink quality. . . . Beside any picture of heaven above or heaven on earth, the 
pictures of hell and destruction stand out in vivid and compelling intensity, each 
detail strong enough to grip the imagination as the horrid creations of a Wells, an 
Orwell, or an Aldous Huxley unroll before our horrified eyes. Where positive 
Utopias are insipid and a detailed heaven is unbearable to think of as a permanent 
abode, the creators of terror have no such problem. So, if Utopian visions are the 
stuff by which men live, it would seem a legitimate subject of inquiry to ask what is 
the matter with them? Why is Hell always so much more vivid than Heaven? (p. 

Or as Aldous Huxley once observed, "A dualistic perception of God 
may be bad metaphysics, but it makes good art." 

These observations seem perfectly valid insofar as they apply to static 
conceptions of Utopias or to static metaphysical views, but there appear 
to be no necessary limitations on artistic creativity to portray the 
excitement of constructive, positive images of continuing human 
evolution, and in that sense be able to create a vision of "more vivid 

Second, these insights suggest that the most important component of 
planning is based not on the realm of the rational, but rather in those 
realms of consciousness that lie beyond the rational. In many if not 

"Like so many quotes, the real point — the imagination of children — is omitted." — 
Margaret Mead 

The Feasibility of an Evolutionary Image of Man 155 

most cultures throughout history, the executive leaders maintained 
access to seers (shamans, prophets, "fools," medicine men, etc.).* In 
keeping with the seriousness of the problems our society faces and the 
resulting need for a more valid sense of the whole context in which we 
live, the opening up of these aspects of consciousness — not for the few 
but for the many — seems of vital importance. 

Third, these insights suggest that "ordinary" attempts to shift the 
prevailing image of humankind by rational-manipulative means would 
likely prove ineffectual. Other evidence, however, suggests that such a 
strategy (if it uses "extraordinary" means) might well be effective, but 
ultimately dysfunctional: Kinser and Kleinman (1969) have written a 
provocative book, The Dream That Was No More a Dream: A Search for 
Aesthetic Reality in Germany 1890-1945, which contends that during this 
recent era, the German government undertook to deliberately shape 
the image of man, to create a "myth" that would resolve the German's 
identity crisis. Using all means at their disposal, some conventional (e.g. 
visual art, songs, slogans, and propaganda) and some unconventional 
(e.g. arm-in-arm rocking, goose-step marching, and other somewhat 
more esoteric ways of releasing primal energies in a structured form — 
some of which have appeared from time to time in the American 
human potential movement), Germany created for itself "a sense of 
national density in accord with the universe." Kinser and Kleinman 
assert that the central equation in this process was that: 

Myths shape perception. Perceptions produce policies, policies cause events and 
situations. And events require explanation. How can one separate the beginning of 
the circle from the end, the mythic invention from the archetypal situation, or the 
fabrication from the candid recognition of a geopolitical fact? The first feeds the last, 
and the last vindicates — and reinstates — the first. This cycle is what Freud meant by 
"self-fulfilling prophecy" — the manufactured statement that creates historical reality 
thereby validating itself. 

The recent appearance of such writings as The Image (Boorstin, 
1971), The Selling of the President (McGinnis, 1968), Catch a Falling Flag 
(Whalen, 1972), The Image Makers (Lawton and Trent, 1972), and 
"Friendly fascism" (Gross, 1970) would indicate that the German ap- 
proach of image manipulation and myth creation is all too feasible in 

* "Today the seers are scientists and 'experts.' See Guy Benveniste, The Politics of 
Expertise, Glendessary Press, 1972." — Michael Marien 

Agreed, which is why the necessary future emphasis is on holistic knowing as opposed to 
specialized knowing. 

156 Changing Images of Man 

the United States.* Image manipulation is practiced in our society, but 
it has not yet reached the proportions that were practiced in Germany 
before World War II. As we note in the next chapter, however, an 
extrapolation of current trends makes this possibility seem almost 
expected. Martin, writing almost two decades ago, concluded that: 

The whole world is in imminent peril from the totalitarian technique. . . . The free 
peoples, because they are still free, have the means of making the withdrawal-and- 
return, of rediscovering the creative contact by rediscovering themselves. There can 
be no assurance that they will fully realize this peril or make use of these means. But 
if they do, a fundamental change can come over the world. . . . There is in this 
present age a possibility of greatness exceeding all that has gone before, the 
possibility that our time of troubles can become the timeless moment, the moment of 
vision and commitment. (1955, pp. 264 ff.) 


In fairness to the reader, it should be emphasized that this creative contact is not an 
armchair pursuit. What is proposed is an experiment, an experiment involving risk, 
making heavy demands on those who undertake it, with no guarantee of results. 
Mythos meant originally the words spoken in a ritual, the means of approach to the 
God . . . there are a variety of modern means of approach to the creative process 
working in and through man. And, as always, the creative is dangerous. (1955, p. 15) 

Although not without danger, the democratic assumption is that 
pluralistic creativity is always more to be trusted than is fascistic 
manipulation (cf. Mead and Byers, 1968). 

New Paradigms from Old 

We spoke earlier of the need for what we termed a "moral science" 
and a "moral economics" denoting by the terms "moral" paradigms 
that would be consistent with what Dunn (1971) has termed a "process 

. . . where human beings . . . establish the process of human development as the goal 
of the process of social evolution, both the process and the goal being understood to 
be open to further transformation as we advance in the practice and understanding 
of them. 

"While you note briefly the societal manipulations of the Third Reich under Hitler, 
you do not deal with the consequences of this tragedy. I would urge that Ernst 
Cassirer's work, The Myth of the State, be included in your review of relevant literature. 
I also suggest the tremendous impact of Mao should be included and that the classic of 
Edgar Snow, Red Star Over China, showing the transforming effect of the great march 
on a total population cannot be ignored. The image of the pilgrim remains important 
and its consequences dramatic." — Robert A. Smith, III 

The Feasibility of an Evolutionary Image of Man 157 

The translation of such a conception into operational terms seems 
especially crucial given the problems discussed earlier. As the 
economist Robert Heilbroner observed (1968), 

. . . the central problem which is likely to confront the societies of tomorrow is 
nothing less than the creation of a new relationship between the economic aspect of 
existence and human life in its totality, (p. 631) 

It seems evident that the characteristics we postulated for an 
adequate image cannot be fulfilled unless such a new type of policy 
paradigm comes into existence — a paradigm that provides a far closer 
reconciliation of C. P. Snow's "two cultures" (the sciences and the 
humanities) than has heretofore seemed feasible. Central in this pur- 
suit would be the reconciliation of the objective inquiry methods found 
suitable for learning to manipulate the external/physical environment 
and the inquiry methods which are emerging to similarly explore the 
subjective/internal/psychical environment of our living. 

Likely such an umbrella paradigm will not be possible without the 
emergence of other, somewhat more specialized but nevertheless holis- 
tic, paradigms to support it. An adequate policy-relevant paradigm for 
understanding the subtle complexities of ecology, for example, will 
likely require a creative synthesis of those disciplines we call biology, 
anthropology, ethology, and possibly even parapsychology. Similarly, 
an adequate new science of "internal states" (which would deal with 
topics as varied as psychosomatic medicine, creativity, quality of life, 
and so-called psychic abilities), if present trends are any indication, will 
require a synthesis of Eastern wisdom, Western psychology, electronic 
engineering, physics, physiology, etc.* Donald Michael's book On the 
Social Psychology of Learning to Plan — and Planning to Learn (1972) 
contains numerous insights on how this difficult task might more 
adequately be approached. 

Considerations of Operational Feasibility 

But what indications are there that pervasive personal and in- 
stitutional transformation and a creative mushrooming of new 
paradigms are feasible without their being "caused"? 

"You . . . fail to indicate how these might merge. Perhaps if you update Assagioli, using 
Youngblood's Expanded Cinema, and suggest new musical and art forms for global 
audiences through the moog synthesizer, ballet and satellite communication, you could 
provide a world stage for Transformation." — Robert A. Smith, III 

158 Changing Images of Man 

There can be no easy answer to this question, of course. The forces 
against fundamental conceptual change appear almost insuperable. 
Virtually every institutionalized aspect of our society, but especially the 
image-creating media (whose revenues, hence editorial policy, cur- 
rently derive primarily from advertising), indirectly support the cur- 
rent industrial paradigm. The physical aspects of our culture (urban- 
centered factories, freeways, automobiles, etc.) all reinforce it by 
shaping our perceptions, incentives, and habits. 

However, there appear sufficient indications of a new image emerg- 
ing that continued work in this direction is indeed appropriate. We 
outlined in Chapter 4 an historical analogy between the present and the 
post-Medieval period that is suggestive of various forces at work which 
are creating the conditions for a transformation. Added to that line of 
argument are the following assessments of societal conditions that 
together indicate, with appropriate stimulation, the feasibility of a 
"new renaissance" which would have the characteristics set forth in 
Chapter 5. 

• There is need. Societal problems (such as those described in Chapter II) are 
mounting that appear to be intrinsic to the very structure of the mature industrial 
society. Similarly there is growing evidence that a variety of goals cannot be 
adequately realized due to intrinsic limitations of the essentially objective and 
reductionistic paradigm of science that is currently dominant in our society.* 

• There are motivation and progress. Although the societal trends that appear to be 
dominant (e.g. the "multifold trend" noted in Chapter 1) and the overall momen- 
tum of industrialism do not point to the emergence of a new and more adequate 
image of the human, there are various signs indicating increasing desire for the 
progress toward such an emergence. For example: 

1. Interest in cultural survival, in Eastern thought, in self-exploration, in holistic 
understanding of complex systems, in personal and cultural transformation is in 
the ascendant. Surveys and polls show this growing trend, most noticeably in the 
Yankelovitch data on the new naturalism among such groups as student elites and 
corporate executives who are increasingly turning away from economic values 
(Yankelovitch, 1972; Seligman, 1969). A survey of major public libraries made in 
connection with this study reveals an unusually strong demand for books on 
wholesome living (natural/organic foods, yoga for health, etc.); the occult 
(extrasensory processes, divination, esoteric wisdom, etc.); and Eastern practices 
(zen, yoga, meditation, etc.). While the more fundamentalist of the traditional 
churches are growing at a rate about equal to the decline of the more ecumunical 

"There is still a vast amount of support for the notion that a variety of goals can be 
adequately realized by more of the same type of science and technology that we have 
had. You are not providing an adequate counter-argument to Daniel Bell, Herman 
Kahn, the Nixon administration, and most of academia and the American people. 
Consonant with established cognitive systems is the fact that societal problems are not 
seen as severe enough to require the system break that would lead to the 'new 
renaissance.'" — Michael Marien 


The Feasibility of an Evolutionary Image of Man 159 

traditional churches (Kelley, 1972), other voluntary organizations, especially in 
what is called the "human potential movement," are growing far more rapidly.* 
2. Population growth is declining, environmentalism is growing, new legislation is 
being considered that might promote more holistic understandings of societal 
problems — for example, Senator Humphrey's recent bill on national growth 
policy. Increasing numbers of technical symposia and ad hoc groups are being 
formed on the theme of survival-motivated transformation, e.g. the World Order 
Models Project, the Club of Rome, the Blueprint for Survival Project, The 
International Institute of Applied Systems Analysis, Projects of the National and 
World Council of Churches. 

There are recognizable processes of transformational discovery. The historical record 
of cultures and individuals which successfully coped with crisis-motivated change, 
the process of "new paradigm" discovery in science, and the process of general 
creativity show some remarkable parallels. Two characteristics which stand out from 
the record of such discoveries are: 

1. That they are intuitively rather than rationally based. In most descriptions of 
transformational discovery, the tapping of imagistic, intuitive, and supra-rational 
aspects of consciousness appears as a central element of discovery. Only before 
and after the new Gestalt is recognized do the more rational processes serve the 
useful functions of evaluation, planning, and so forth. 

2. That they reformulate rather than replace previous ideas. Although both types of 
creativity occur in times of crisis, the type of discovery that has led to revitalization of 
a culture is that in which the creative thrust was more a reformulation and 
combination of ideas already having good currency than a revolutionary change to 
radically different ideas. Thus cultural transformation seems feasible without 
revolutionary disruptions, to the extent that the transformed society can meet the 
unique and habitual needs of diverse groups while at the same time providing a 
unifying framework for the entire culture. Techniques exist with which trans- 
formational discovery can be fostered; others can be discovered. 

There is timely stimulation of attempts — both individual and collective — to foster an 
evolutionary transformation. The majority of the society do not perceive the need or 
have the motivation noted above. This is perhaps fortunate, for it gives time to 
create the needed ideas before charismatic leadership and/or simplistic attempts at 
reform are demanded. Although there is (among an increasing number of elites) a 
perceived need, motivation, some progress, and proper tools (yet small in proportion 
to the need), most funding understandably goes into work that fits within the 
present paradigms of our culture. The efficacy of transformational research and 
working toward more adequate paradigms has yet to be demonstrated to the 
mainstream institutions of society. Thus support of this kind of activity could prove 
to have "high leverage" in terms of building the kinds of knowledge and necessary 
experience that might turn cultural crisis into creative transformation. 

We emphasize the stimulation of transformational thinking and 
experimentation not because we see it as necessary for the emergence 
of a new image of humankind and/or new "moral" paradigms, but 
because of urgency.f Although it is impossible to prove, we suspect that 


* See Note C, p. 161. 

t "Again, I stress that the 'urgency' is not perceiyed by others; or, if perceived, there are 
totally different prescriptions." — Michael Marien 

160 Changing Images of Man 

if either is to emerge at all, they will do so whether or not any given 
individual, group, foundation, or government agency chooses to deli- 
berately support — or to fight — their emergence. To be sure, their 
emergence depends on the actions of individuals, but scientific and 
cultural transformation is a far bigger and more amorphous agenda 
that can be dealt with by rational/deliberate attempts to make it 
happen, as, one would say, a moon shot. The emergence of a new 
image and/or new paradigm can, however, be hastened or slowed by 
deliberate choice. Furthermore, and most importantly, the degree of 
social disruption accompanying such a change can be affected by the 
degree of understanding of the forces bringing it about. 

Given the uncertainty as to the likely severity and the timing of the 
societal crisis that may be ahead, appropriate actions which prepare for 
the crisis need to be stimulated. Only if we have the necessary concepts 
and tools — both individually and collectively and in time — can we hope 
to ride at all smoothly through to a better society on the other side of 
the transition. Thus the fostering of conceptual reformulations which 
do not reject but rather reconcile previously dominant ideas into a 
higher-level integration appears most timely. 


Note A 

"Two criticisms: one, that there have been a concomitant increase in consciousness 
together with the generally increasing complexity and differentiation of evolving biologi- 
cal systems does not mean that the thrust of evolution is toward greater consciousness (as 
the study infers); it could mean, for example, that consciousness is merely an 
epiphenomenon of complex organization. In my view it is more reasonable to assume 
that consciousness is a resultant of biological evolution. ... I believe that the spectacle of 
evolution can give meaning to existence and a sense of holistic direction without 
embracing the controversial premise of a vitalistic-anthropomorphic thrust toward 
consciousness [see Chapter 14 in Laszlo (1972)], and it is more rational to place one's 
hopes for a new meaning in life on an objectively evolutionary, rather than an anthro- 
pomorphizing thesis. 

"My second criticism is that the meaning of 'consciousness' is not made clear. 
. . . Consciousness as self-awareness can be explained without recourse to grand 
assumptions about evolutionary thrusts simply by noting the selective advantage it 
confers on systems that increasingly rely on computed-extrapolated strategies for their 
existence. Like a prehensive tail, it is an instrument of survival and a factor in . . . biolo- 
gical evolution." — Ervin Laszlo 

Note B 

"I believe many readers, especially those in the stricter sciences, will not appreciate the 
diffusive and wildly ambiguous qualities of the word paradigm, which is used excessively 
(even from the point of view of good prose!) in the latter parts of the document. My early 
classical training forces me to associate the word paradigm with the sober word example. 
Its main use is in grammar, where it is used as an example to illustrate a declension or a 
conjugation. It might also mean, more generally, an illustration. But it has none of the 

The Feasibility of an Evolutionary Image of Man 161 

far flung meanings you have assigned to it (following Kuhn). You have employed it as a 
synonym for general belief, tenet, hypothesis, dominant theory, prevalent view, prevail- 
ing philosophy, general understanding, accepted thesis, scientific world picture of the 
time, temporarily confirmed assumption. . . . Each phrase in this list is clearer than 
paradigm, and I suppose it might be well to choose from it on occasion." — Henry 

Our usage of the word paradigm is indeed extended from its original meaning and is in 
keeping with our search for metaphors which catch the "sense" of our time. We use it to 
refer to a scientific (or generally held) world view, including any assumptions about 
reality and rules of operation. Kuhn (1962) describes his usage as referring to 'universally 
recognized scientific achievements that for a time provide model problems and solutions 
to a community of practitioners' (p. x). This corresponds to the common meaning of 
paradigm as a model or pattern. 


"Do you think that the cultural survival lobby, broadly defined, outnumbers the 
supporters of Maharaj Ji? The John Birch Society? Would you care to contrast the 
readership of any five new culture periodicals to the 160,000 subscribers to Street Chopper 
Magazine, or the 175,000 subscribers to Off I Road Vehicles Magazine (the latter group, I 
understand, is destroying the California desert). 

"Also, I think it is very problematic as to whether environmentalism is growing, 
particularly with newly announced scarcities in electricity, natural gas, and gasoline. If it 
is growing, we need a sober head count: growth from 3% to 4% doesn't count for much, 
if 80% are ready to vote to maintain their comfort. 

"In fact, I disagree with this entire section. I would like to see the signs of a positive 
emerging image, but I will not let my enthusiasm be confused with a sober analysis of the 
data around me. As is quite clear, students are turning away from 'The New Natural- 
ism' toward quietude, fundamental Christianity, alcohol instead of drugs. Shows the 
hazards of extrapolating data and cheering when what we are watching is a cultural 
pendulum. As for the 'cultural indicators' you had best be more specific, e.g. what books 
read by whom and with what result? (As a quick indicator, look at the top ten non-fiction 
list for the last few years to see what is in fashion. Whereas Future Shock was big a couple 
of years go, there is nothing in the top ten today — other than The Sovereign State of 
ITT — that has anything to do with the new naturalism, public policy, or wholistic science. 
Rather, people are concerned with Dr. Atkins' diet, and the Joy of Sex.) Be precise about 
any interest in the growth of holistic science; I fail to see any good signs, such as the 
RANN budget in NSF or significant developments in SGSR. The control of internal 
states, books on wholesome living, the occult, etc., are to some degree current fads — and 
there is a great deal of balderdash mixed in with serious sentiments that you and I favor. 
Failure to distinguish between the serious and the rip-off is one of the quickest ways to 
weaken if not kill off the evolutionary transformationalist movement (or whatever we 
wish to call it — another problem being a profusion of titles). 

"Finally, you should be very cautious about the 'humanistic capitalism' professed by 
the corporations (most notably in John Rockefeller's recent book, The Second American 
Revolution). Haven't you ever heard of co-optation? See Roszak's comments on 'suave 
technocracy' in Where the Wasteland Ends." — Michael Marien 

We agree. See our "last work" (p. 268). 

"Of toursf it's Janfp unJerfortt! Thttt strikes me as j -very petty 
complaint to make at a time like this.** 

Reproduced by permission of the New Yorker Magazine, Inc. Drawing by Starke. 

© 1977. 



Societal Choices and Consequences of Changing Images 

Massive and rapid change confronts virtually every person and sector 
of our society. Paradoxically, such rapid change — leading to "future 
shock" in the words of Toffler — seems to be the only constant of our 
time. This change has contributed to a contemporary feeling of pur- 
poselessness and meaninglessness: 

• It creates uncertainty about the future and lessens the time "durability" of our 
images of humankind. 

• Associated with this change has been the emergence of a societal structure of 
virtually incomprehensible size and complexity. 

• Also corresponding to this rapid change has been a proliferation of segmented roles 
for the individual to play, supported by fragmented imagery. 

Such rapid rates and magnitudes of change would be tolerable to many 
people if it seemed purposeful. Indeed, as Gerald Heard once noted, 
"Life does not need comfort, when it can be offered meaning, nor 
pleasure, when it can be shown purpose." Since a primary function of 
images is to provide meaning in life, our present alienation and loss of 
purpose is reflective of the inability of contemporary images to inspire 
within people a feeling of meaningfulness. 

Our survival and our continued evolution depend upon our acting, 
soon and wisely. On what basis do we choose one societal trajectory 
over another? 

Many of the different images that we have surveyed provided differing 
normative standards from which to evaluate ethical decisions. Precisely 
because different conceptual paradigms provide differing standards for 
evaluation, it is not possible to prove that one image of humankind is 
ultimately better or more valid than another.* It is therefore useful to 
compare the likely societal outcomes of the different images. 

We choose to compare the societal consequences of two images, both 
of which seem feasible within the near-term future of the United 

"But you can prove that one is held more frequently than another through the use of 
survey research. An image of man survey of what is and what ought to be, parallel to 
Hopes and Fears of the American People (Universe, 1972), should be conducted." — 
Michael Marien 


164 Changing Images of Man 

States, each of which would lead to a very different type of future. One 
of these is based on an extrapolation of the images that underlay the 
industrial state (i.e. it portends a post-industrial future with industrial 
images of the human); the other is based on a transformed image of 
the human similar to that we have postulated as being needed for a 
desirable post-industrial society. 

In creating such an idealized polarity, or dialectic, we do not expect 
that either will come to pass in a pure form, but rather hope that a 
clear-cut contrast between possibilities will foster a continuing debate 
which will in itself help create a more responsible future society. 


The nature of a future based on continuing dominance of the 
industrial state mentality is aptly characterized by a distillation of the 
"multifold trend" developed at the Hudson Institute and described 
earlier. It envisions a society with the following developmental trends: 

1. Increasingly empirical, secular, pragmatic, manipulative, explicitly 
rational, utilitarian. 

2. Centralization and concentration of economic and political power. 

3. Continued rapid accumulation of scientific and technical know- 

4. Increasing reliance upon specialists and "knowledge elites" des- 
pite anti-intellectual trends. 

5. Increasing affluence and the institutionalization of leisure. 

6. Increasing use of social, economic, political, and behavioral 

7. Increasing urban concentration and the emergence of megapoli- 
tan/regional urban areas. 

This trend set might well be termed a "technological extrapolationist" 
future. An image of humankind that is supportive of this future would 
likely have the following characteristics: 

• The individual by nature is aggressive and competitive, largely determined in his 
behavior by hereditary and environmental forces. 

• The group is emphasized, to the relative detriment of individualism. 

• Sexuality, territoriality, materialism, rationalism, and secularism are emphasized. 

• There is an increased demand for and implied reliance upon technological solutions 
to our societal problems, and upon centralized regulation of technology application 
to provide needed controls. 

Contrasting rather sharply with the foregoing trends and supportive 
image is a cluster of trends that is compatible with the characteristics 

Societal Choices and Consequences 165 

postulated as desirable in Chapter 5. These trends and supportive 
image might lead to what could be termed an "evolutionary trans- 
formationalist" future. This future does not assume the logical exten- 
sion of existing societal trends as does the technological extrapolationist 
view; rather it presumes a substantial departure from current trends, 
with the following trend characteristics resulting: 

1. Increasingly balanced between dimensions such as empirical/in- 
tuitive, manipulative/pan-determined, rational/intuitive, utili- 

2. Stabilizing population; decentralization of urban areas so that 
population is distributed with greater balance; a greater diversity 
of living environments to express a larger range of life-style 

3. Increasing affluence for a time but then tending toward a steady- 
state society without substantial income/wealth differentials; a "do 
more with less" technology; more creative/participative leisure 

4. A decrease in the use of social, economic, political, and behavior 
engineering except where this was chosen by a group as the 
preferable mode of organizing and directing life-activities within 
their societal subsystem. 

5. Increasing reliance upon specialized and general (holistic) skills of 
"knowledge elites" with greater legitimization and use of diver- 
gent thinking; also greater participation in the planning processes. 

6. Continued accumulation of scientific and technical knowledge but 
of a sort which fits within the framework of a new "moral" 

7. Decentralization and deconcentration of economic and political 
power to allow "full valued participation" of people in their 
political and productive processes. 

An image of humankind that would be supportive of this trend 
cluster would likely have the following characteristics: 

• The individual's behavior is determined partly by hereditary (biological) and 
environmental (social) sources, which can be for either good or ill, but also there is a 
significant potential within the individual for behavior which is free from such 
deterministic influences. 

• The individual has primacy but there are recognized needs of the societal system for 
its own maintenance as a supportive environment for individual growth/actualiza- 

• Thus, the self, along with societal structures, evolves toward higher states of 
awareness such that societal and individual diversity is hopefully integrated at a 
higher order of complexity and "self" becomes an experiential concept having 
transpersonal as well as individual aspects. 

166 Changing Images of Man 

• An emphasis upon loving sexuality leading to a deemphasis of possessiveness. 

• Rationalism and secularism are balanced by an equal regard for the significance of 
the intuitive and spiritual. 

• An implied reliance is placed upon the individual's alteration of internal states for 
the solution of many societal problems. 

Clearly, the technological extrapolationist and evolutionary trans- 
formationalist images present us with sharp contrasts — both direct, and 
in terms of the societal trends they support. The plausibility of each of 
these divergent images can be partially inferred from an examination 
of the potency of their historical roots — these are presented in Tables 8 
and 9. Table 10 contrasts the ethical attributes that we might associate 
with these two images. With this as background, we now consider the 
societal consequences that would accrue in the technological extrapola- 
tionist and the evolutionary transformationalist futures. 

Table 8 



1. Hobbesian Man — Hobbes saw humankind as elaborate machines whose "vital 
motions" were determined by outward stimuli. One seeks the power to insure the 
continuation of favorable stimuli and in that egoistic concern one comes into strong 
conflict with other people acting in like manner. What is required to insure peace is 
a sovereign with absolute power over the citizenry. 

2. Economic Man — Is rationalistic (able to calculate what will maximize one's utility), 
self-centered (acquisitiveness constrained only by the self-seeking of others), 
mechanistic (a factor in the production process), individualistic (responsible for 
taking care of one's self), and materialistic (with an overriding concern for one's 
own material welfare). 

3. Freudian Man — Freud saw people as being driven by the dual instinctual forces of 
eros (the sex drive) and thanatos (the will to destruction of self or, when turned 
outward, the will to aggression). Civilization suppresses these potentially destructive 
instincts and in doing so it increases the individual's internal tensions. Therefore, 
civilization is bought at the price of an increase in personal frustration. 

4. Etiological Man — An aggressive animal with a veneer of civilization holding this 
aggression back. Man is instinctually programmed from his hunter origins toward 
war, destruction, and territoriality, and this cannot be unlearned or outgrown but 
can only be sublimated, redirected, or repressed. This any civilized society must do. 

5. Behavioristic Man — One's actions are completely determined by hereditary and 
environmental factors. A recent emphasis is upon behavior modification through a 
stimulus-reinforcement-response process. Freedom and dignity are thought to be 
the illusory constructs of an individual who views himself as having autonomy. The 
survival of a culture is likely dependent on the systematic "shaping" of human 


Assuming that the cluster of societal trends and images identified 
under the rubric of "technological extrapolation" becomes dominant in 

Societal Choices and Consequences 167 

Table 9 


1. Lockean Man — For Locke, the pre-social condition of the human being was not 
mutual hostility but mutual tolerance. Nor was man's social contract a surrender 
pact drawn up between the people and the sovereign; it was a limited agreement 
among the people to allow regulation of some natural rights so as to gain protection 
for the remaining ones. Innate ideas or instincts were not the source of knowledge 
and character, but rather experience and awareness. 

2. Emergent "Humanistic Capitalism" — Would replace the economic growth ethic with 
self-realization and ecological ethics, and holds that the appropriate function of 
social institutions is to create environments conducive to that human-growth 
process which would ultimately transcend a materialistic orientation. 

3. Perennial Philosophy — " . . . the metaphysic that recognizes a divine Reality substantial 
to the world of things and lives and minds" (Huxley, 1945). The individual can, 
under certain conditions, attain to a higher awareness, a "cosmic consciousness," in 
which state he has immediate knowledge of a reality underlying the phenomenal 
world. "Rudiments of the Perennial Philosophy may be found among the 
traditional lore of primitive peoples in every region of the world, and in its fully 
developed forms it has a place in every one of the higher religions." It is then, the 
highest common denominator among the religions and thereby has tremendous 
integrative potential while recognizing the diversity of peoples. 

4. The "Other" Ethology — From this perspective, aggression is not inherent in human 
nature. The environment more than instincts is the source of aggression. To the 
extent that aggression, territoriality, etc., are learned rather than innate attributes, 
then they can be unlearned. 

5. Systems Theory — The person is an interdependent part of the progressive 
differentiation and higher-order reintegration of bio-social systems; the next phase 
in this evolutionary process is for the person to become conscious of his own 
evolution and to make the process purposeful so that there can be reconciliation of 
subsystems into large systems without loss of uniqueness. The underlying goal is the 
enhancement of individual fulfillment through the actualization of the best 
potentials there are within the person. 

our society, what might be the likely consequences? Our society suffers 
from fundamental problems which are intrinsic to the very structure of 
mature industrialism. The cluster of multifold trends embodied in the 
extrapolationist perspective will likely exacerbate these problems. In- 
deed, given the present nature of our societal problems, we can expect: 

• Continued acceleration of industrial development through massive transnational 
corporations which, because they transcend national boundaries, will be difficult or 
impossible to regulate adequately. 

• Intensification of ecological problems, and of marathon competition to exploit 
vanishing resources. 

• Increasing discrepancies in the distribution of affluence; 

• Intensification of "revolutions of rising expectations" and of strife among interest 

• Increasing danger of sabotage, and increasing concern for personal and institutional 
security; development of new "security technologies." 

• A shift from basic research to applied research and development. 

• Increasingly unwieldy urban agglomerations whose political, financial, and total- 
systemic stability becomes uncertain. 

Table 10 


Technological extrapolationist image 

Evolutionary transformationalist image 

1. Mind and Matter: Is the 
human essentially a com- 
plex and sophisticated 
but physical machine, or 
is his essence that of 
mind or consciousness? 

2. Freedom and Determinism: 
To what extent is the 
human free in his choices 
and actions? 

Good and Evil: Is the 
human's nature essen- 
tially good or evil? 

Individual and Collec- 
tive: Does ultimate 
significance rest with 
the individual or the 
societal collective? 
Is the individual more 
subject to the collec- 
tive, or vice versa? 

The human is definitely viewed as mecha- 
nistic, rationalistic, materialistic. 

The human is viewed as being more or less 
determined in his behavior patterns — 
either by instinctual forces or by the 
behavior-shaping forces of his external 

The person tends to be viewed as in- 
nately antisocial — aggressive in the 
ethological perspective, competitive/ 
acquisitive in the economic point of view 

In spite of the strongly individualistic 
roots of this composite image, the 
collective aspects of human existence 
are emphasized to the virtual exclusion 
of the individual aspects. (Behaviorism 
denies individuality.) A collectivist 
response is necessary to control the 
antisocial aspects of behavior. 

Both mind and matter are embraced as 

interdependent and interactive components of an 
evolving system which includes the person and 
his society. While some tend to emphasize the 
human as being essentially mind or spirit, the 
evolutionary thrust is toward increasing 

The human is potentially more or less free. 

Although he has a genetic inheritance which has 
stronger influence at the "lower levels" of his 
functioning, he is somewhat determined by the 
social environment learning process, and to the 
extent that he is the creator of his social/cultural 
learning environment, then he is relatively free to 
foster his own evolution. 

The person is essentially neither good nor evil but 
conditioned by his environment, unless or until 
he wakes up and sees how things are or can be at 
a more profound level of awareness. 

Individuality and wisely chosen autonomy are 
paramount concerns, although there is utility in 
the collective aspect of existence — particularly in 
the ways it can be supportive of evolutionary 






Societal Choices and Consequences 169 

Increasing dominance of institutional needs over human needs. 
Increasingly questioned legitimacy of the entire socioeconomic system. 

What kind of society might emerge? On the one hand, our wisdom and 
good luck could combine with ineptitude and misfortune in such a way 
as to cause our nation to just about break even in our efforts to deal 
with the growing problems. There may be (though it appears unlikely) 
neither disastrous failures nor remarkable successes. Our shortcomings 
could be offset by the traditional poultice of an increasing income for 
the majority, a greater amount of time for leisure pursuits, and the 
certainty of a greater quantity and variety of goods and services to be 

On the other hand, it seems entirely plausible that these trends could 
exacerbate our societal problems and bring demands for immediate 
and drastic solutions to ensure the stability and survival of the society. 
Methods of regulation that severely reduce individual freedoms could 
be welcomed in the face of severe disruptions. We could quickly or, 
more likely, gradually emerge into the kind of society that Bertram 
Gross (1970) has termed "friendly fascism." This is a fascism that "will 
come under the slogans of democracy and 100 percent 
Americanism ... in the form of an advanced technological society, 
supported by its techniques — a techno-urban fascism, American style" 
(p. 44). Gross describes it as: 

... a new form of garrison state, or totalitarianism, built by older elites to resolve the 
growing conflicts of post-industrialism. More specifically: a managed society [which] 
rules by a faceless and widely dispersed complex of warfare-welfare-industrial- 
communications-police bureaucracies caught up in developing a new-style empire 
based on a technocratic ideology, a culture of alienation, multiple scapegoats, and 
competing control networks . . .. Pluralistic in nature, techno-urban fascism would 
need no charismatic dictator, no one-party rule, no mass fascist party, no 
glorification of the state, no dissolution of legislatures, no discontinuation of elec- 
tions, no distrust of reason . . . this style of management and planning would not be 
limited to the economy; it would deal with the political, social, cultural, and 
technological aspects of society as well . . .. The key theme, therefore, would not be 
the managed economy, but rather, the managed society* (pp. 46 ff. Some emphases 

What conditions would be required for such a pernicious future to 
emerge out of the extrapolation of the present? We think the fol- 

"A somewhat later and considerably more scholarly piece by Gross, contrasting 
techno-urban fascism vs. humanist reconstruction, is offered in a lengthy essay, 
'Planning in an Era of Social Revolution,' Public Administration Review, May/June 1971, 
pp. 259-297. Gross is also writing a book on friendly fascism, to be published in late 
1974." — Michael Marien 

The book finally appeared in 1980 and is a most sobering appraisal of (now) current 

170 Changing Images of Man 


• The need — Our societal problems might combine with the multifold trend to create 
the need for such a friendly sort of totalitarianism. Perhaps this feeling of benign 
need was presaged in a recent statement by the White House Chief of Telecom- 
munications: "A great many people in '1984' like what Big Brother was doing 
because he was doing it in their interest and concern" (Whitehead, 1973). 

• The ability — Although one may fault the metaphysical implications of behavior 
modification, one cannot deny that it works. Today we are seeing the rapid 
emergence of "psycho-technologies" which could efficiently shape and modify pat- 
terns of behavior as well as motivational and emotional states. This could take the 
form of directed emotional conditioning in childhood; objectively constructed rein- 
forcement patterns in adult life; the use of a wide variety of drugs; electrical brain 
implants; the modification of genetic makeup to activate different human potentials; 
the use of sophisticated electronic surveillance mechanisms to detect "aberrant" 
behavior patterns. 

• A supportive image of man — The use of and dependence upon such psycho-tech- 
nologies might well lead gradually to a pernicious form of the extrapolationist image 
of man. This is plausible in a self-validating way, since many aspects of the current 
form of the extrapolationist image seem supportive of the increasing use and 
dependence upon these technologies. Man is viewed as a sophisticated machine 
(therefore, master human nature as we have mastered physical nature); man is 
thought to be largely determined in his behavior (therefore, objectively shape his 
behavior in the most efficient way); man is innately antisocial (therefore, restrain 
antisocial tendencies with the aid of new technologies); individual man is subordinate 
to the needs of the collective (therefore, impose upon the individual whatever is to 
the benefit of the larger society). 

• The acquiescence — Many psycho-technologies are already in limited use in our society 
and they would appear to be quite palatable to the general public if they were 
assimilated gradually while being couched in the appropriate language; e.g. rather 
than discuss the control of emotional and motivational states, we can talk of insuring 
peace and harmony by modifying the behavior of those "irrational" persons who 
threaten the stability and security of our society. 

Quarton (1967) examined the plausibility of widespread use of such 
processes and concluded: 

If these protective and avoidance patterns are greatly extended in the future, one 
can imagine a society that allows widespread use of drugs to prevent pain and 
anxiety, brain surgery to prevent both suffering and any aggressive actions by 
individuals, and extensive use of monitoring equipment to restrict individual 
behavior with a destructive potential, (p. 850) 

There are already signs of the emergence of key elements in Gross's 
"friendly fascist" scenario: 

Application of military surveillance technologies to urban police problems. 
Utilization of behavior-changing drugs and operant conditioning in schools. 
Government attempts at management of news. 

"Personality screening" and maintenance of files on "pre-delinquent" children, 
through cooperation between elementary school administrations and local, state, and 
federal authorities. 

Societal Choices and Consequences 171 

• The cross-correlation of computer-based files containing personal data (e.g. credit, 
employment records, tax status, insurance, criminal record, education). 

• The introduction of legislation to control access to techniques for self-initiated 
alteration of consciousness (both non-drug and drug induced). 

Although the above pictures an extreme outcome from the tech- 
nological extrapolationist image and trend, nonetheless it is an alter- 
native future for the United States that is even now proving its 
feasibility by its growing emergence. This future would seem unin- 
tended to most people; yet, by not "rocking the boat" and by pursuing 
what is a familiar societal path, it seems clear that we could reach a 
societal future which was quite different and far worse than was 
originally anticipated. This future is by no means inevitable but it does 
confront us with profoundly important choices — both individual and 


Whereas the technological extrapolationist response represents the 
logical extension of currently dominant societal trends, the evolu- 
tionary transformationalist response presumes a qualitative and quan- 
titative departure from them. However, in the early stages at least, the 
transition to an evolutionary transformationalist post-industrial society 
would create some degree of disruption and disorientation. 

Assume for a moment that the industrial state does have problems 
that are fundamentally unresolvable within the context of the present, 
and further assume that the evolutionary transformationalist image 
points the way to a resolution of the difficulties engendered by the 
industrial era. It might seem that our society would welcome the 
coming of such a transition with open arms. More likely, we would 
welcome such a societal change no more than the Middle Ages wel- 
comed Galilean science, no more than the neurotic welcomes the 
changes in perception and behavior necessary to extricate himself from 
his unhappy condition. Such a new image and the societal con- 
sequences it implies would be viewed as a real threat to the established 
order. The emphasis on inner exploration would look like escapism, 
and the new interest in psychic phenomena and spiritual experience 
would be put down as a return to the superstitions of a less scientific 
and more gullible age. The increased reliance on intuitive processes 

See Note A, p. 179. 

172 Changing Images of Man 

would be interpreted as an abandonment of rationalism. The shift in 
priorities away from material and toward spiritual values would appear 
as a weakening of the work ethic and as a turning away from economic 
goals — imperiling both the state of the economy and the stability of 
economic institutions. The ethic of love and community would seem 
subversive to the national defense. Such interpretations would not be 
totally unrealistic, since the world in general is far from ready for such 
drastic value-changes, and partial moves in these directions would 
likely be interpreted as weakness. 

At a more fundamental level, the implied responsibility of the 
individual for his own growth and development, in the evolutionary 
transformationalist view, can by itself evoke a resistance to entertaining 
this new image of humankind. Maslow (1962) described this 
phenomenon succinctly in a chapter entitled "The Need to Know and 
the Fear of Knowing": 

The great cause of much psychological illness is the fear of knowledge of oneself .... 
We tend to be afraid of any knowledge that could cause us to despise ourselves or 
make us feel inferior, weak, worthless, evil, shameful. We protect ourselves and our 
ideal image of ourselves by repression and similar defenses, which are essentially 
techniques by which we avoid becoming conscious of unpleasant or dangerous 
truths .... But there is another kind of truth we tend to evade. Not only do we hang 
on to our psychopathology, but also we tend to evade personal growth because this, 
too, can bring another kind of fear, of awe, of feelings of weakness and inadequacy. 
And so we find another kind of resistance, a denying of our best side, of our talents, 
of our finest impulses, of our highest potentialities, of our creativeness .... It is 
precisely the god-like in ourselves that we are ambivalent about, fascinated by the 
fearful of, motivated to and defensive against, (pp. 60-61) 

Thus, at both the individual and societal levels, the implications of an 
evolutionary transformationalist image are bound to engender strong 
resistance. This would contribute to the disruption that inevitably 
accompanies a period of rapid societal change, such as the present 
transition from an industrial to some type of a post-industrial society. A 
paradoxical situation thus arises: even if the evolutionary transfor- 
mationalist image is essential to a satisfactory resolution of the prob- 
lems of advanced industrialism, actions designed to force the emer- 
gence of such a transformation could be socially disruptive.* 

Let us turn now to a longer time perspective and the plausible 
characteristics of a society in which this image of humankind had 
become established. These must be considered tentative and incom- 
plete speculations; but they do provide a basis for further discussion. 

See Note B, p. 179. 

Societal Choices and Consequences 173 

Individual and Social Goals 

The evolutionary transformationalist image must begin with the 
relatively deterministic confines of our socio-economic system. This is 
simply a recognition that, to a substantial degree, people's general 
pattern of behavior, perception, and motivation is conditioned by the 
imprinting force of our urban-industrial living environment: 

Instead of the economy being embedded in social relations, social relations are 
embedded in the economic system .... For once the economic system is organized in 
separate institutions, based on specific motives and conferring a special status, society 
must be shaped in such a manner as to allow that system to function according to its 
own laws. 

(Polanyi, 1944, p. 57) 

Rather than accept and adapt to this societal context, the evolutionary 
transformationalist response would affirm the relative primacy and 
existential autonomy of the individual while still recognizing the 
deterministic socialization and stringent demands made by a highly 
developed society. Given the power of the industrial dynamic, the 
nature of the transformationalist task is substantial, and it seems not 
unfeasible that a variety of social and psychotechnologies would be 
embraced — but not in the mode of control. Thus, for example, 
behaviors consistent with operant conditioning might become com- 
monplace not as the linear control (which most people fear), but as 
reciprocal influence (which is what it seems Skinner is talking about).* 

Taking precedence over the dominant economic goals of growth and 
efficiency would be two complementary guiding ethics, the ecological 
ethic and the self-realization ethic. The ecological ethic expresses a 
concern for all peoples and life on the planet (a geographic dimension), 
for future generations of life (a time dimension), and for the inter- 
relations of peoples, their states of consciousness, cultures, and in- 
stitutions over time (a societal dimension). The self-realization ethic 
would highly value "life, liberty, and the pursuit of self-actualization." 

A central activity of the self-realization ethic is the pursuit of one's 
vocation, which would include work-play-learning, all intertwined. A 
central societal goal, then, should be the full participation in this 
expanded vocation so that all individuals have access to one or more 
satisfying work-play-learning ways of life. This expanded sense of 
vocation would vastly increase the activities in which persons could 
receive affirmation by society and thereby develop and hold a healthy 

* "I am not sure that 'reciprocal influence' is exactly what I am talking about. I am very 
much concerned about the future and certainly adopt what you call the ecological ethic 
rather than the self-realization ethic, which I regard as a rationalization of 
selfishness." — B. F. Skinner 

174 Changing Images of Man 

self-image. It would also legitimate the purposeful thrust of sociocul- 
tural revolution to include individual self-evolution-of-consciousness. 
For such an expanded sense of vocation to become a reality, material 
goals would have to be deemphasized, we would tend toward a steady- 
state economy, routine work tasks would become increasingly cyber- 
nated, and only a fraction of the work-play-learning force would be 
required to pursue activities directed at supplying material goods and 
services to society. The many other activities in individualistic com- 
bination should be meaningful, non-stultifying, and non-polluting. 
There is one area of activity which in particular might meet these 
conditions — learning — which in the broad sense includes personal 
exploration and research as well as social learning activity. Robert 
Hutchins (1968) describes "the learning society" as one that will have 

... its values in such a way that learning, fulfillment, becoming human, had become 
its aims and all its institutions were directed to this end. This is what the Athenians 
did .... They made their society one designed to bring all its members to the fullest 
development of their highest powers . . . Education was not a segregated activity, 
conducted for certain hours, in certain places, at a certain time of life. It was the aim 
of the society .... The Athenian was educated by the culture, by Paidea. 

The central educational task fostered by Paidea was "the search for 
the Divine Center" (Jaeger, 1965). But the post-industrial society would 
differ from that of Athens in important respects. Its slaves will be 
machines, with the Faustian powers of its technology introduced to a 
new level of responsibility. It thus must become not only a social- 
learning society but a social-planning society. Helping to choose the 
future, then, would be a primary responsibility of citizens. 

Another important area of change would be in the goals of cor- 
porations and particularly multinational corporations. As the latter 
become more powerful than most nation-states, it becomes essential 
that their operative goals shift to resemble those of public institutions. 
This means, specifically, that the priority in corporate goals would 
become something like the following: (1) to carry on activities that will 
contribute to the self-fulfillment of the persons involved, (2) to carry on 
activities that contribute directly to satisfaction of social needs and 
accomplishment of societal goals, and (3) to earn a fair profit on 
investment, not so much as a goal in itself (as at present) but as a 
control signal which monitors effectiveness. How might such a utopian- 
sounding situation come about? Does it not sound impractical and 
preposterous that corporations would be willing to relegate profitmak- 
ing to third priority? The social force that might bring about such a 
revolutionary change in operative goals is the subtle but powerful (and 

Societal Choices and Consequences 175 

poorly understood) influence of granting or withholding legitimacy. 
Governments have often felt the potency of legitimacy withdrawal. In 
mid-eighteenth century, as we have already noted, the suggestion 
would have seemed preposterous that a monarchy would soon be 
declared not legitimate by contrast with governments "deriving their 
just powers from the consent of the governed." Giant corporations 
today are feeling the challenge put to the divine right of kings two 
centuries ago. It assumes many forms — movements of consumers and 
environmentalists; civil rights and women's liberation; truth-in-ad- 
vertising pressures; worker demands for improved quality of work 
environment; stockholder revolts. Awareness is growing that the largest 
corporations, at least, are in an important sense public institutions. 
Directly or indirectly (through life insurance policies, annuities, mutual 
funds, etc.) they are owned by a large fraction of the public and employ 
a large portion of the people; the public uses the goods and services 
they produce, and suffers the environmental degradation they 
produce. The wave of public challenge is forming. 


Many of our institutions seem to have inadvertently reached a critical 
size beyond which they are virtually uncontrollable in any coherent 
fashion. This fact of life was aptly described by Richard Bellman, in 
accepting the first Norbert Wiener prize for applied mathematics 

I think it's beginning to be realized that our systems are falling apart. We don't know 
how to administer them. We don't know how to control them. And it isn't at all 
obvious that we can control a large system in such a way that it remains stable. It may 
very well be that there is a critical mass — that when a system gets too large, it just 
gets automatically unstable. 

We see these problems in our educational systems, in our legal systems, 
in our bureaucratic systems, in our transportation systems, in our 
garbage-collection systems, and so on. The inability to sustain stable 
subsystems (let alone the macro-system) suggests that a strong thrust 
toward decentralization would be a plausible concomitant to the trans- 
formationalist image of humankind.* Relatively autonomous sub- 
systems would enhance diversity in our society, which is increasingly 
confronted with an underlying (and, at times, overriding) homogeneity 

See Note C, p. 179. 

176 Changing Images of Man 

of physical structures, life-styles, and living environments generally. 
Relatively autonomous subsystems (whether in government, business, 
education, or elsewhere) that are oriented toward human growth 
would give many more citizens a greater sense of significance and 
meaning in a more approachable institutional environment. 

As the social system becomes increasingly interdependent and com- 
plex, the need for accurate information becomes greater. Such ac- 
curacy presumes a fairly high degree of trust, honesty, and openness. 
Highly complex task operations, such as putting men in space or 
resolving the impending energy crisis, require a high level of honesty 
and trust; so too would building a humane society. For quite practical — 
as contrasted with moralistic — reasons, then, the demanded level of 
honesty and openness in an evolutionary transformationalist type of 
post-industrial era could be expected to increase, especially affecting 
such activities as advertising and merchandising.* 

Similarly, as the complexity of societal operations increases, auto- 
cratically and hierarchically organized bureaucratic structures (whether 
business, education, government) tend to develop communication 
overloads near the top and discouragements to entrepreneurship and 
responsibility lower down. In order to sustain our complex societal 
system, we may systematically reconstitute massive bureaucratic struc- 
tures into organizations with relatively autonomous subsystems (in 
effect, decentralization). This adaptive form of organization would 
seem better suited both to cope with complex tasks and to provide 
more satisfying work for the people involved. f 

Another societal consequence might be the growth of the family 
from an atomistic unit of refuge to an extended unit, a larger source of 
meaning and significance. Experiments with a variety of family struc- 
tures would be a legitimate endeavor in a society that encourages 
individual and interpersonal exploration of human-growth processes. 
In an extended context, the family might regain some of its traditional 
meaning as a source of education, broadly defined, and as a unit for 

Given a relative deemphasis of economic growth and efficiency, and 
an enhanced concern for social, psychological, political and environ- 

* "If honesty and openness are correlated with an evolutionary transformationalist era, 
the possibilities for such an era would seem bleak if, as I fear, trust is eroding. We must 
still hope, but we must accurately assess the strength of the enemy amongst us." — 
Michael Marien 

f "I believe you could make a real case for computer conferencing a la Murray Turoff, 
and electronic consensus taking, a la Etzioni, as means for decentralizing or making 
more democratic what could become a terrifying 'robopathic' way of life in affluent 
bureaucracy." — Robert A. Smith, III 

Societal Choices and Consequences 177 

mental matters, it seems plausible to think that the trend toward huge 
urban agglomerations would be reversed and populations would be 
redistributed with greater balance. There would likely be experiments 
with a diversity of living environments to allow people a greater range 
of trade-offs in selecting a community. In such a context, there may 
emerge increasingly sophisticated communal types of living environ- 
ments which experiment with new institutional forms. 

The societal changes we have discussed under the rubric of the 
"evolutionary transformationalist" may appear at first to be too radical. 
On the contrary, they are probably too conservative. Our task is the 
equivalent of standing in the Middle Ages and attempting to describe 
the culture and institutions after the Industrial Revolution. 

We can hardly claim to have demonstrated that a shift toward the 
evolutionary transformationalist image of human-in-the-universe is 
well underway — especially since such a fundamental shift is historically 
so improbable. We may simply have made the hypothesis plausible. If 
so, then the questions raised here about the characteristics of a society 
dominated by the new image are of extreme importance. The greatest 
hazard in such a transition is that the anxiety level can raise to where 
the society responds with irrational and self-destructive behavior. The 
best safeguards are widespread understanding of the need for trans- 
formation and reassurance that there is someplace good to get to on 
the other side.* 


Winston Churchill stated that, "We shape our buildings and then our 
buildings shape us." Similarly, but in a larger and more pervasive 
sense, we are being irrevocably shaped by our unprecedented urban- 
industrial environment which is premised upon images of humankind 
whose historical origins are far removed from contemporary reality. 

The decision to suppress image change or to allow societal and image 
transformation confronts us with an important branch point in our 
history. The consequences of our decisions in the next few decades will 

"Well, I agree with that! I find the 'hazard' almost inevitable, and the 'safeguard- 
widespread understanding' very unlikely! I do not want to be naively 'super-sophisti- 
cated' or on the side of those saying 'I told you so' when western civ. or mankind 
collapses ... in fact I find the 'someplace good to get to' both in the present and in the 
future Image you postulate . . . but I do feel that your presentation of the 'evolutionary 
transformationalist' imagery suffers (as does Reich's 'Greening') from a one-sided 
optimistic or romanticized Imagery that undermines its credence." — David Cahoon. 

178 Changing Images of Man 

endure long into the future: 

The environment men create through their wants becomes a mirror that reflects 
their civilization; more importantly it also constitutes a book in which is written the 
formula of life that they communicate to others and transmit to succeeding genera- 

(Dubos, 1968, p. 171) 

Human beings can become adapted to almost anything and, since 
our physical and psychological endowments give us a wide range of 
adaptive potentialities, it is crucial to distinguish between those images 
that foster a short-term tolerable living environment and those that 
foster a long-term desirable living environment. The dynamic character 
of adaptability is illustrated by a laboratory demonstration in which a 
frog was placed in a beaker of boiling water and immediately jumped 
out; when the frog was placed in a beaker of cold water that was slowly 
warmed to boiling temperature, however, the temperature change was 
gradual and the frog adapted in increments, making no attempt to 
escape until he finally died. Analogously, the mere fact that a society 
can generate an image of the human and, for a time, adapt to it does 
not necessarily ensure that it would be a desirable thing to do. We can 
make errors and inadvertently accept images which may prove lethal 
both to our existence as being seeking to unfold our potentials, and to 
our "physical existence as an evolving species. Given our capacity to 
adapt — even to the point of virtual self-destruction — it is difficult to 
know whether or not we may have already gone too far with our 
industrial images. Given the apparent momentum of the industrial 
dynamic, it is difficult to know whether we could turn back even if it 
seemed we had gone too far. 

Nonetheless, we are still confronted with the existential choice: 
"... in matters of life ... it does not matter whether the chance for cure 
is 51 percent or 5 percent. Life is precarious and unpredictable, and the 
only way to live is to make every effort to save it as long as there is a 
possibility of doing so" (Fromm, 1968, p. 141). We can either involve 
ourselves in the recreative self and societal discovery of an image of 
humankind appropriate for our future, with attendant societal and 
personal consequences, or we can choose not to make any choice and, 
instead, adapt to whatever fate, and the choices of others, bring along. 

Life is occupied both in perpetuating itself and in surpassing itself; if all it does is 
maintain itself, then living is only not dying. 

(Simone de Beauvoir) 

To a significant extent, society is waiting, hoping that the impulse for change will 
settle around certain fundamental attributes of the American ethic. At the present 

Societal Choices and Consequences 179 

time, however, no consensus about the nature of these fundamentals exists. We are 
all looking for values that have deep roots as we attempt to sort out the durable from 
the ephemeral. 

( Wall Street Journal) 


Note A 

"Given my own pre-paranoid selective-perception 'set', the most convincing discussion 
of all is the drift into the Gross 'friendly fascism'! It is comforting to hear you affirm that 
this is 'an extreme outcome from the technological extrapolationist image and trend', 
and 'unintended to most people' but it seems to me we are well into it! The very crisis 
nature of our future seems to me to most likely increase the garrison-state dynamic: 

• dissent, repression; more dissent, more repression; 

• complexity-breakdown, engineered solution; more complexity-breakdown, more 
engineered solution; 

• fear, surveillance; more fear, more surveillance . . . etc., etc., ETC.!!. 

"I wish I could see this whole thing more positively and creatively, but so far I can't, and 
your discussion just seems to reinforce my pessimism, though I'm certain the opposite is 
your intent!" — David Cahoon 

Note B 

"The 'genius' of the industrial-state paradigm is that it did appeal to and unify the three 
levels of the self (unconscious, conscious, super-conscious) you identify in Ch. 6. This was 
not a rational, conscious, intentional event, but what Tillich calls a 'kairos' historical form 
of a God-Destiny-Evolution consciousness-transformation ('an idea whose time has 
come'). Our 'transition' period in history and evolution consists in this; that the old kairos 
paradigm image is tarnished and dysfunctional, has lost its 'spirit' in the sense that it 
doesn't unify and inspire, and no longer 'points beyond itself to Being-Itself consciously 
or unconsciously (Tillich's language in The Courage To Be, 'The Religious Symbol'). The 
new unifying 'kairos' imagery and vision of the post-industrial era has not yet coalesced, 
been evoked, been created, germinated. 

"Now, what seems right to me in your analysis is that the 'evolutionary-trans- 
formationalist' symbols, metaphors, images, etc. . . .catch up the conscious and supercon- 
scious components of the new emerging 'kairos' imagery; what seems weak or missing is 
the unconscious component, and as you rightly emphasize in this beautiful paragraph 
this cannot be consciously engineered or speeded up." — David Cahoon 


"There are a couple of places in the text where you use language and make assertions 
that are not fully consistent with your general system theory concepts, [e.g.] the necessity 
for organizational decentralization. I am afraid that in the minds of most people this 
language evokes the classical centralization-decentralization dichotomy. The work of 
Lawrence and Lorsch at the Harvard Business School makes clear how misleading this 
image can be (see Lawrence, Paul R., and Lorsch, Jay W., Organization and Environment, 
Irwin, 1969). In a similar vein [below] you spfeak of the communication overload that 
attends hierarchical organization. This would be true only in the case of a linear nested 
hierarchy that seeks to maintain direct pbint-by-point control. General systems theory 
makes plain that it is the partial decoupling of information processing systems that yields 

180 Changing Images of Man 

precisely that hierarchical form of organization necessary to the conservation of in- 
formation and the regulation of complexity. But this is a far cry from simple decen- 
tralization as conceived by classical organizational concepts. I'm afraid that the 'New 
Federalism' suffers from this same defect. There is an essentially valid principle here that 
founders because the conventional expression fails to understand the epistemology of 
social processes. 

"In general, the principal weakness of [your report] reflects the principal weaknesses 
of the literature that it synthesizes. There is no real understanding or expression of the 
nature of the very difficult problems of organizational transformation that must attend 
the transformation processes advanced as essential for the survival and evolution of an 
'open society.' My Wiley book deals partially with these issues." — Edgar S. Dunn, Jr. 




Be i-Pcen 





St* 3 

*^.V ,^?«K£— 

Reproduced by permission of Jules Feiffer. © 1980. Distributed by Field Newspaper 




Guidelines and Strategies for Transformation 

In this final chapter we approach the difficult question from the 
practical person — what is to be done? What sorts of actions and programs 
do the foregoing arguments suggest? What could be accomplished by 
corporations, foundations, political agencies, voluntary associations? 

We have not found it possible to respond satisfactorily without 
casting this discussion at a more personal level than the material of the 
first seven chapters. This is mainly because the actions that appear 
appropriate depend upon how one interprets the substance of the 
preceding discussion. One of the more frequent responses we received 
to an earlier version of this report was a request for candor, for a 
forthright statement of the conclusions we reached after immersing 
ourselves for some months in this material. This chapter starts with 
such a statement. The discussion reflects hope. It is an affirmation that 
what could be is worth examining even if the likelihood of its coming to 
pass seems small. Our honest observation is that our society is traveling 
full speed down the technological extrapolationist path described in 
Chapter 7, and that by the time the danger lights begin to glow 
brightly, it will be terribly late. 

No blueprint will emerge from this examination, no specific set of 
research programs and institutional changes. If there are forces push- 
ing toward an evolutionary transformation of the sort described in 
Chapter 7, they are firmly rooted in the past and their present momen- 
tums will have a major shaping effect on the future. Thus, a successful 
strategy probably needs to be an incremental and an adaptive one. 


We start with five premises that grow out of the preceding discussions. 

1. An interrelating set of fundamental dilemmas, growing apparently ever 
more pressing, seem to demand for their ultimate resolution a drastically 
changed image of man-on-earth. We seem able to tolerate neither the 
ecological consequences of continued material growth nor the 
economic effects of a sudden stoppage. We fear the implications of 


184 Changing Images of Man 

greatly increased control of technological development and application, 
yet sense that such control is imperative. We recognize the fatal 
instability of economic nationalism and a growing gap between rich and 
poor nations, yet seem unable to turn the trend around. We seem unable 
to resolve the discrepancy between man's apparent need for creative 
meaningful work and the economic imperatives that cause much 
human labor to become superfluous or reduce it to makework. A 
massive challenge is growing to the legitimacy of a business-govern- 
ment system wherein pursuit of economic ends results in such coun- 
teracting of other human ends. We face a cultural crisis of meaning — it 
is not clear who is at the helm, how the ship is steered, nor what distant 
shores we should be aiming for. In a way it is a crisis of awareness, a set 
of situations which with less awareness might seem more tolerable. 

A serviceable image of humankind must reflect interdependence of 
the Nature that modern man once misguidedly sought to "control," 
and with the social-technological systems on which his survival has 
come to depend, and whose complexity he is yet unable to com- 
prehend. It must provide humanity with a meaning for its struggles, 
above and beyond that involved in learning to manipulate the physical 
environment. It must enable humankind to appreciate and deal with 
the peril which its unbridled Faustian powers of technology have 
brought upon it. 

2. There are increasingly evident signs of the imminent emergence of new 
li image of man." It is a new image in the sense of being very much a 
challenger to the dominant scientific world view as that has evolved 
over the past few centuries, and also to the image of materialis- 
tic "economic man" that become enshrined in the institutions and 
economic theories of the industrial era. Yet it is not new, since traces of 
it can be found, going back for thousands of years, in the core 
experiences underlying the world's many religious doctrines, as repor- 
ted through myths and symbols, holy writings, and esoteric teachings. 
The staying power of the new image is suggested by the facts that it 
reactivates the cultural myths whose meaning had become forgotten, 
and it seems to be substantiated by the further advances of the science 
which earlier played a role in seemingly discrediting it (see Chapter 4). 

Chapter 6 described some characteristics of the "image of man" 
which is at once compatible with the reemergent "Perennial Philoso- 
phy" and is well adapted for dealing with humankind's contemporary 
dilemmas. Of special interest to the Western world is that Freemasonry 
tradition which played such a significant role in the birth of the United 
States of America, attested to by the symbolism of the Great Seal (on 
the back of the dollar bill). 

Guidelines and Strategies 


Fig. 17. U.S. one-dollar bill. 

In this version of the transcendental image, the central emphasis is 
on the role of creative work in the life of the individual. (In "true 
Freemasonry" there is one lodge, the universe — and one brotherhood, 
everything that exists. Each person has the "privilege of labor," of 
joining with the "Great Architect" in building more noble structures 
and thus serving in the divine plan.) Thus this version of the "new 
transcendentalism" (perhaps more than other versions imported from 
the East more recently) has the potentiality of reactivating the Ameri- 
can symbols, reinterpreting the work ethic, supporting the basic 
concepts of a free-enterprise democratic society, and providing new 
meanings for the technological-industrial thrust. At the same time, it is 
compatible with other versions more indigenous to other parts of the 

3. There is a serious mismatch between modern industrial -state culture and 
institutions and the emerging new image of man. This mismatch produces 
such reactions as the growing challenge to the legitimacy of business 
institutions whose primary allegiance appears to be to their stock- 
holders and managers, the growing disenchantment with the technocratic 
elite, the decreasing trust and confidence in governments, all revealed in 
recent survey data. The mismatch could result in serious social dis- 
ruptions, economic decline, runaway inflation, and even institutional 
collapse. On the other hand, institutions can modify themselves and adapt 
to a new cultural paradigm, though probably not without a relatively 
traumatic transition period. 

4. There is, and will continue to be, deep psychological resistance to both the 
new image and to its implications. No aspect of a person's total belief-and- 
value system is so unyielding to change as his basic sense of identity, his 

186 Changing Images of Man 

self-image. It is a well-known phenomenon in psychotherapy that the 
client will resist and evade the very knowledge he most needs to resolve 
his problems. A similar situation probably exists in society and there is 
suggestive evidence both in anthropology and in history that a society 
tends to hide from itself knowledge which is deeply threatening to 
the status quo but may in fact be badly needed for resolution of the 
society's most fundamental problems. The reason contemporary 
societal problems appear so perplexing may well be not so much their 
essential abstruseness and complexity as the collective resistance to 
perceiving the problems in a different way. 

5. The degree to which the needed characteristics described in Chapter 5 are 
realized may well determine the degree to which highly undesirable future 
outcomes (economic collapse, a garrison-police state) can be avoided. The 
emerging image of humankind has increasingly widespread acceptance 
and long historical roots. It can be opposed and suppressed, but 
probably at great social cost. The necessary condition for a stable 
society in the medium-term future (say 1990) is that the behavior 
patterns and institutions of the society shall have transformed them- 
selves to be compatible with the new image. 

These five premises are in their essence not demonstrable. Thus, we 
make no pretense of having proven, them in any sense. They are in 
general supported, however, by the evidence and arguments presented 
in the previous chapters. They can be checked against new information 
as it becomes available, to verify whether or not they receive further 
support. Thus, it is appropriate to explore what sorts of actions would 
be indicated if these propositions were to be accepted. 


In the following analysis we concentrate on strategies for the United 
States. They would be similar, but with important differences, for other 
parts of the industrialized world, especially the nations with planned 
economies. Significantly different strategies would be appropriate for 
those Third-World nations with resources valued by the industrialized 
world (mainly fossil fuels and minerals). The situation is still more 
different for that residual "fourth world" of nations that have no 
resources other than poor land and poor people. 

Furthermore, we emphasize the roles of the powerful political and 
economic institutions of the technologically advanced world because it 
appears to be there that the main decisions will be made which will 
determine the smoothness or disruptiveness of the transformation. It is 

Guidelines and Strategies 187 

our purpose not to list specific tactics, other than as exemplars, but 
rather to indicate guiding criteria for decisions and actions. 

It will be useful to contrast five different basic strategies through 
which a desired transformation might be fostered. These are restorative, 
stimulative, manipulative, persuasive, and facilitative. 

The fundamental goal of a restorative strategy would be to restore the 
vitality and meaning of past images, symbols, institutions, and ap- 
proaches to problems, which are believed to have worked successfully 
in some prior period and hence are judged to be appropriate in the 
present. Wallace, in his study of cultural revitalization movements 
(1956), found that this strategy has particular appeal during the begin- 
ning stages of the revitalization cycle, when the extent of the crisis has 
not yet been recognized. In later stages, however, attempts to revert to 
earlier forms come to be seen as clearly inadequate; hence, other 
strategies are then adopted. 

A stimulative strategy has as its fundamental goal the emergence of 
new images, approaches, or actions that are desired but that are 
"premature" — they do not fit the prevailing paradigm and hence 
would not be very likely to attract support from mainstream institutions 
in the society. The foci of stimulative strategies would tend to be 
actions that anticipate a new paradigm, but do not yet have much 
visibility or legitimacy. Such a strategy is especially appropriate when it 
is becoming clear that a crisis exists and the inadequacies of the old 
structures and concepts in -a society (or a science) are being revealed. 
(Wallace calls this "cultural distortion" and Kuhn terms it a "crisis" 
involving a breakdown of the old paradigm.) 

While a stimulative strategy seeks to alter the institutions, values, and 
behavior patterns of society in such a way as to honor or increase the 
freedom of choice of individuals in the society, a manipulative strategy 
attempts to accomplish a similar result through overtly or covertly 
reducing individual freedoms. Some manipulative tactics may be direct 
(as with the passage of a law); others may be more indirect (as with 
editorial policies in the media, or "confrontation politics" in the coun- 
ter-culture). This approach is more likely to be used by well-established 
interests that are challenged by newer ones. As we saw, however, it was 
effectively used in Germany to bring about dominance of a new image 
of man and of the Fatherland, and it could be so used again. 

A persuasive or propagandistic strategy has as its goal persuading 
others of the Tightness, utility, and attractiveness of a given image, 
conception, or way of acting. This strategy is an essential part of the 
political process, whether in the governmental activities of pluralistic 
democracies and totalitarian states alike, or in the deciding between 
competing scientific theories. 

188 Changing Images of Man 

A facilitative strategy seeks to foster the growth of new images and 
patterns that are visibly emerging. The main purpose of the support 
may be less to hasten or ensure the development than to help bring it 
about with lowered likelihood of social disruption. 

If we examine these five approaches in the context of the five 
premises listed earlier, some seem appropriate and others much less so 
to the transformation under consideration (from the industrial-era 
image to the emergent transcendental-ecological one). The manipula- 
tive type of strategy, for instance, is in such direct conflict with the 
self-realization ethic that it could not be used without risking severe 
distortion of the state it seeks to bring about. 

Restorative strategies can play an important role in the present 
transformation because of the fact that the new, emerging image is 
essentially that of the Freemasonry influence which was of such im- 
portance in the shaping of the nation's foundations. The activities of 
the "Heritage" segment of the American Revolution Bicentennial are 
mainly an attempt to recapture a waning American spirit, although 
they could serve to promote the new image by reminding us of the 
transcendental bases of the nation's founding (e.g. the all-seeing eye as 
the capstone of the pyramidal structure in the Great Seal). 

It is relatively easy to generate stimulative strategies from the 
discussions of earlier chapters. For example, practically all the areas of 
scientific research listed in Chapter 4 would furnish likely candidates — 
altered states of consciousness and psychic research to name a couple. 
Also, various educational and institutional-change strategies come to 
mind. Appendix E lists a number of such stimulative strategies. There 
is a caution to be kept in mind, however. Once a societal trans- 
formation is underway, as this one appears to be, social stability 
becomes a central problem. It is essential to have as accurate a picture 
as possible of the total state of affairs, so that research related to 
anticipating the nature and characteristics of the transformation rightly 
assumes high priority. Widespread anxiety and the hazard of inap- 
propriate and irrational responses can be kept lower with accurate 
information. On the other hand, stimulative actions that result in too 
rapid a change could be overly disruptive. It is even conceivable that 
once into the transition period, actions contributing to social cohesion 
might be much more constructive than actions to increase the polariza- 
tion between the transformation enthusiasts and the conservatives. 

Other than in the passage of laws, manipulative strategies, insofar as 
the five initial premises hold up, would appear to be incompatible with 
the emerging image. No doubt existing consciousness-changing, 
behavior-shaping, subliminal persuasion, and other conditioning tech- 
niques could be used to accomplish some sort of transformation of 

Guidelines and Strategies 189 

sobering proportions (we ought to be able to be more effective than 
Nazi Germany). However, the use of manipulative techniques for this 
particular transformation conflicts fundamentally with the goals im- 
plicit in the transformation. Thus, they would probably in the end be 
disruptive and counterproductive. 

Persuasive techniques that fall short of manipulation are unlikely to 
be very effective. The reason is that one characteristic of such a 
transition period as we seem to be entering is low faith in, dis- 
enchantment with, and cynicism regarding both scientific and political 

The most appropriate strategies, if the initial premises are accepted, 
would appear to be facilitative ones. The transformation has its own 
dynamic; it can probably not be slowed down or speeded up very much 
by political action, once it has enough momentum to be visible. But the 
trauma of the transition, the amount of social disruption, economic 
weakening, and political confusion can probably be affected a great 
deal by the degree of understanding of what the transformation 
process is, why it is necessary, and what the inherent goals are. To use a 
biological metaphor, the woman beginning to experience labor pains 
and associated physiological changes is much more likely to approach 
the birth experience with low anxiety, and hence to avoid tensing up 
and doing the wrong things, if she understands the nature of preg- 
nancy and its inherent goal, than if she had no idea of the process or 
where it leads. 

Perhaps another comparison is even more pertinent. We have earlier 
noted that societies in transformation bear a certain resemblance to 
individual behaviors accompanying a psychological crisis. The dis- 
location known as a psychotic break is sometimes brought on by the 
total unworkability of the person's life pattern and belief system, such 
that the whole structure seems to collapse and need rebuilding. Prior to 
the crisis the person, to a disinterested observer, is seen to be engaging 
in all sorts of irrational behavior in his frantic attempts to keep from 
himself the awareness that his personal belief, value, and behavior 
system was on a collision course with reality. Under favorable circum- 
stances the individual goes through the crisis, uncomfortably to be 
sure, and restructures his life in a more constructive way. In an 
unfavorable environment, of course, the episode can escalate into a 
catastrophe. In the case of a society a parallel condition to the psychotic 
break can occur, with a relatively sharp break in long-term trends and 
patterns. The analogues of irrational individual behavior may appear 
(social disruptions, violent crime, alienation symptoms, extremes of 
hedonism, appearance of bizarre religious cults, etc.). Massive denial of 
realities may occur (e.g. with regard to exponential increases in popu- 

190 Changing Images of Man 

lation or energy use). The society may go to extreme measures to hide 
from itself the unworkability of the old order and the need for 
transformation. The transformation itself, like the psychotic break, 
may come almost ineluctably — and as with the individual, favorable and 
unfavorable outcomes are both possibilities. What we have termed 
facilitative strategies can be likened to the sort of care that may help 
bring about a favorable outcome. 


Assuming, then, that primary emphasis should be placed on strategies 
to facilitate a non-disruptive transformation, it follows that those stra- 
tegies will be incremental ones, dynamically adapting to a rapidly 
changing situation, and guided by an understanding of the nature and 
necessity of the transformation and of the essential conditions for a 
favorable outcome from a traumatic transition period. We need, 
therefore, to examine the salient characteristics of the tranformation.* 

Nature of the Fundamental Anomaly 

The central feature of the hypothesized transformation is that its in- 
eluctability comes about, as indicated in Chapter 3, because of a major 
and growing discrepancy between the cultural and social products of 
industrialization, on the one hand, and generally desirable human ends 
on the other. A fundamental anomaly exists of the following sort: 

• The basic system goals that have dominated the industrial era (material progress, 
private ownership of capital, maximum return on capital investment, freedom of 
enterprise, etc.), 

• and that have been approached through a set of intermediate goals that include 
efficiency, economic productivity, continued growth of technological-manipulative 
power, and continued growth of production and consumption, 

• have resulted in processes and states (e.g. extreme division of labor and specializa- 
tion, compulsive replacement of men by machines, stimulated consumption, planned 
obsolescence, exploitation of common resources, environmental degradation, wor- 
sening world poverty) which 

• culminate in a counteracting of human ends (e.g. enriching work roles, self- 
determination, conservation, wholesome environment, humanitarian concerns, 
world stability). 

Put another way, the fundamental anomaly is that "good" micro- 
decisions, i.e. local decisions made in accordance with prevailing rules 
and customs, currently do not add up to socially good macro-decisions. 

Anthropologist Virginia H. Hine's thinking about "The Basic Paradigm of a Future 
Socio-cultural System" (reprinted in Appendix F) is relevant to this discussion. 

Guidelines and Strategies 191 

Individuals, corporations, government agencies in the course of their 
activities make micro-decisions (e.g. to buy a certain product, to employ 
a person for a particular task, to develop and market a new technology, 
to enact a minimum-wage law) that are guided by a web of cultural and 
habitual behavior patterns, common values and beliefs. These micro- 
decisions interact to constitute a set of macro-decisions of the overall 
society (e.g. a 4 percent annual growth rate in energy usage, degrada- 
tion of the environment, depletion of non-renewable resources) which, 
if Adam Smith's "invisible hand" were working properly, would be 
compatible with the cultural aims and objectives of the society. The 
degree of compatibility has for some time been visibly deteriorating. 

The response to this fundamental anomaly is a massive and in- 
tensifying challenge from consumers, environmentalists, minorities, 
workers, civil libertarians, youth, and others, to be the legitimacy of basic 
system goals and institutions. If economic and business goals do not 
appear to be congruent with social goals, if "good" business decisions 
lead to "bad" social decisions, this suggests the need for fundamental 
changes in dominant institutions and social paradigms, to bring the 
functioning of the society into harmonious relationship with the 
dominant cultural image of human life. To this end some have pro- 
posed one and another form of "new socialism" to increase the 
governmental regulatory responsibilities over the micro-decision-mak- 
ing of the citizenry and private-sector institutions. 

It is important to note, in this connection, that the fundamental 
anomaly described above is essentially a characteristic of technological 
and industrial success, not of a particular form of government. Thus, 
although its form is somewhat different, a similar sort of fundamental 
dilemma is found in industrially advanced collectivist nations with 
centralized social planning. 

Essential Conditions for Resolution of the Fundamental Anomaly 

This is not the place for an exhaustive discussion of the changes 
necessary for society to resolve this basic dilemma. It is important to 
our aims, however, to understand some of the conditions that will have 
to be met as we muddle or plan our way through to a satisfactory 

In the first place, there will have to be some satisfactory coming to 
terms with the "new scarcity." Scarcity (of food, potable water, con- 
struction materials, etc.) has always been an aspect of the condition of 
human life. It has in the past rather successfully been considered as 
remediable by advancing frontiers and adequate technology. In some 
sense it has thus been all but eliminated in the advanced nations. The 

192 Changing Images of Man 

"new scarcity" is of a different sort. It arises from approaching the 
finite planetary limits (1) natural storehouses of fossil fuels and strate- 
gic materials, (2) the ability of the natural environment to absorb the 
waste products of industrialized society, (3) fresh water, (4) arable land, 
(5) habitable surface area, and (6) the ability of natural ecological 
systems to absorb interventions without risking ecological catastrophes 
that threaten human life. (In speaking of "finite limits" we recognize 
that the limits are not rigid constraints, and are interdependent. Were 
"clean" fossil fuels available in unlimited supply, for example, limits in 
the other categories would be altered.) There has to be a reconciliation 
of the "new scarcity" and of a culture of frugality with the conditions 
for a healthy economy. To the extent that this can be accomplished 
through institutional and cultural changes guided by a new image of 
"man-on-earth," fewer constraints will be placed on enterprise and 
individual liberties. 

A second essential condition is the provision of sufficient oppor- 
tunities for full and valued participation in the society. In other words, 
there has to be a solution to the psychological-cultural problem of the 
growing group of persons in an industrialized society who are defined 
as out of the mainstream, as having little or nothing to offer in what are 
taken to be the primary activities of the society, and who come to accept 
for themselves the damning self-image of superfluousness. In a 
modern society where productiveness comes from position in a 
productive organism, the individual without the organization is un- 
productive and ineffective; unemployment and underemployment 
endanger self-respect and effective citizenship. Because of the deep 
individual need for productive and significant work, none of the 
current welfare and job-creation approaches offers much hope of 
reaching to the roots of the unemployment problem. Treating work 
opportunity as a scarce commodity (e.g. raising work-entry age and 
lowering retirement age, inflating entry criteria, refraining from 
cybernation of routine operations, maintaining disguised featherbed- 
ding and makework) is in the end an unsound approach. Adequate 
resolution would offer full and valued participation in the ongoing 
societal evolution to all who want it. 

These two basic conditions imply a third, namely, a satisfactory 
resolution of the control dilemma. On the one hand, to deal with the 
problems of the "new scarcity," with the cultural (as distinguished from 
the economic) goal of full employment, and with the growing powers 
of technology to change any and all aspects of the total environment 
(physical, social, political, psychological), there is a demonstrated need 
for some form of effective societal planning and control. On the other 
hand, there are well-founded fears of the consequences of opting for 

Guidelines and Strategies 193 

more governmental control. It remains to be shown that a democratic 
society can deal with the "new scarcity," provide sufficient and suitable 
social roles, anticipate and guide technological impacts, and protect the 
interests of the overall society, and yet preserve the basic characteristics 
of a free-enterprise system. 

Fourth, the problem of obtaining more equitability in distribution of 
the earth's resources will have to be dealt with. Inequities and maldis- 
tributions are not new in human history, but with the appearance of 
the "new scarcity" they present a new face. The achievement of a level 
of life in accord with fundamental dignity for the world's nearly three 
billion poor does not appear possible without continued economic 
growth in both developing and developed nations. And yet economic 
growth on the pattern of the past poses an undeniable threat to stocks 
of non-renewable resources, to the environment, and to the health of 
man. Furthermore, the expectations and demands of the lesser 
developed world may well come at such a pace that they can be met 
only by a lowering of the standard of living in the rich nations. 

Thus, in the process of resolving the fundamental anomaly of the 
industrial-state system, all four of the critical problem areas enu- 
merated above will have to be dealt with. An essential precondition is 
an image of man-on-earth something like that described in Chapter 6, 
or at least meeting the conditions laid down in Chapter 5. 

Two additional characteristics of the "necessary transformation" 
deserve mention. Both have to do with the ways in which the changes 
are stimulated and guided. The first relates to Adolph Lowe's obser- 
vation (1965) that the state of an economic system depends upon 
behaviors, which in turn depend upon motivations, which depend 
upon images, beliefs, and values — and thus interventions for change 
could be contemplated at any of these levels. Behavior patterns can be 
altered by authoritarian controls, motivations can be affected by psy- 
chological conditioning, and beliefs and values are modified by educa- 
tion. Because of the images implicit in this particular historical trans- 
formation, it would seem that at least in the long term, authoritarian 
measures and manipulative conditioning approaches would be in- 
compatible with the emergent state and hence of doubtful effectiveness. 
The possible exception to this might be a temporary measure to help 
hold things together during a disruptive transition period, but even 
here the society would be well advised to use such approaches with 

A second and related characteristic has to do with contrasting res- 
ponses to the challenge of the four key problems above. As Galbraith 
and others have noted, when the thousand largest (mainly multi- 
national) corporations in the world attained such size and power that 

194 Changing Images of Man 

their incomes are larger than the majority of nation-state incomes, 
their role in contributing to societal macro-decisions is significantly 
altered. No longer are they simply subject to market forces; in an 
important sense they exert control over the market. No longer are they 
simply subject to the controls imposed by national governments; in an 
important sense they exert control over national governments. Thus, 
there arises a demand that the largest corporations assume a social 
responsibility toward all those (a worldwide group) whose lives they 
affect. One way in which this might come about is represented in 
arguments for a "new socialism" in which important industries might 
be nationalized (e.g. energy supply) and business would be subjected to 
more control by government to ensure that society's macro-decisions 
would be strongly influenced by elected representatives of the people 
affected. An alternative response might be termed "new privatism" by 
contrast. This response would involve recognition that legitimacy is 
conferred or withdrawn in various ways besides elected representation, 
and it would entail modifications to the operative goals of corporations 
such that they include, on a par with earned return to stockholders, the 
two additional goals of providing opportunities for meaningful work 
(as output, in addition to goods and services) and providing tangible 
benefits to society. Stockholders, after all, represent only one group 
who have an investment in the corporations — employees invest some 
portion of their lives, and the society invests its trust toward the 
shaping of the future. 

Difficulty of Achieving a Non-disruptive Transition 

To restate the premises with which we began this chapter, we can see 
two important dynamics bringing about a major historical trans- 
formation, from the industrial era as we have known it to some sort of 
"post-industrial" society (though not in the sense in which Daniel Bell 
has used the term, which is much more the technological-extrapola- 
tionist future of the preceding chapter). One of these dynamics is the 
growing espousal of a new image of humankind, as described earlier in 
this volume. The other is the progressive awareness of the ultimate 
unworkability of the industrial paradigm as we have known it thus far. 

It daily grows more abundantly clear that the Industrial Age is 
running into trouble. The cultural premises and images that fostered 
scientific, technological, industrial, and economic growth are proving to 
be maladapted to the humane use of the products of that growth. The 
emergent "image of man," with its implicit ecological ethic and self- 
realization ethic, points the way to resolution of the contradictions of 

Guidelines and Strategies 195 

the industrial era. On the other hand, as was pointed out in Chapter 7, 
institutional changes may already be lagging behind basic changes in 
the culturally dominant images, and actions taken to further hasten 
emergence of the new image could be socially disruptive. (Something 
like this seems to have taken place during the psychedelic period when 
Timothy Leary's advice to the young to "tune in, turn on, and drop 
out" added its bit to the disorder of the times.) 

Thus, the appropriate question may be not so much how to bring 
about a transformation (even if one is quite convinced the situation is 
exigent), but rather how to facilitate a non-catastrophic transition when 
the dynamics for transformation are already there. 



Based on the foregoing considerations, six elements of an overall 
strategy for a minimally disruptive transition are discussed below. It is a 
provisional strategy, in the sense that we assume events of the next few 
years will continue to support the five initial premises. But we offer no 
apology for strongly recommending the strategy, as long as this is 
coupled with the recommendation to continue testing the premises. 

1. Promote awareness of the unavoidability of the transformation, as a first 
essential element of the strategy. Pulled by the emergence of a "new 
transcendentalism" and pushed by the demonstrated inability of the 
industrial-state paradigm to resolve the dilemmas its successes have 
engendered, the fact and the shape of the necessary transformation are 
predetermined. Growing signs of economic and political instability 
indicate that the time is at hand. No more than the pregnant woman 
approaching the time of her delivery can we now stop and reconsider 
whether we really want to go through with it. The time is ripe for a 
great dialogue on the national and world stage regarding how we shall 
pass through the transformation, and toward what ends. 

2. Construct a guiding version of a workable society, built around a new 
positive image of humankind and corresponding vision of a suitable 
social paradigm. As the old order shows increasing signs of falling 
apart, some adequate vision of what may be simultaneously building is 
urgently needed for mobilization of constructive effort. 

Perhaps the most crucial need of our time is to foster the dialogue 
about, and participatively construct, such a shared vision. (It is almost 
self-evident that an effective image of a humane high-technology 

196 Changing Images of Man 

society, congenial to the new image of humankind, would have to be 
participatively constructed — not designed by a technocratic elite nor 
revealed by a charismatic leader.) Chapter 7 describes some of the 
broad characteristics of an evolutionary-transformation future. But 
the guiding vision must be more specific than this. In particular, the 
four dilemmas of the "new scarcity," the changing role of work, 
control of technology, and more equitable sharing of the earth's 
resources must be satisfactorily "re-visioned." 

There must be a new economics, if not steadystate in a strict sense, at 
least compatible with the constraints of the "new scarcity." An 
economic theory and practice always implies a psychology or, more 
particularly, a set of assumptions about human motivation. If motiva- 
tions change, because the basic picture of man-on-earth and man-in- 
the-cosmos has altered, then economics must change. If the old 
economics required steady material growth as a necessary condition for 
a healthy economy, it does not follow that the new economics will 
likewise. Similarly, the definitions of good corporate behavior and good 
business policy depend upon tacit social agreements about the bases for 
legitimation, and change when those bases change. It may seem wildly 
Utopian in 1974 to think of the multinational corporations as potentially 
among our most effective mechanisms for husbanding the earth's 
resources and optimizing their use for human benefit — the current 
popular image of the corporation tends to be more that of the spoiler 
and the exploiter. But the power of legitimation is strong, as discussed 
in Chapter 7, and the concept is growing that business must "derive its 
just powers from the consent of those affected by its actions." The 
vision of a workable future must include a resolution of the present 
unsatisfactory situation where what is apparently sound business prac- 
tice and good economics is often very unwise when viewed in the light 
of the "new scarcity." 

Second, the guiding vision has to include some way of providing for 
full and valued participation in the economic and social affairs of the 
community and society, especially for those who are physically and 
mentally able to contribute but find themselves in a state of unwilling 
idleness and deterioration of spirit. Here too there seems to be a 
fundamental wrongheadedness in the conventional way of formulating 
our economics. It is implicit in that formulation that laboring is some- 
thing man tends to avoid. The outputs of the private sectors are 
considered to be goods and services, which persons produce for pay. 
But according to the emergent image of man this calculus is based on 
faulty premises. Human beings seek creative work, and find it is the 
means of their own self-realization. Thus, the outputs of the private 
sector should be goods, services, and opportunities for meaningful 

Guidelines and Strategies 197 

work. The new society will have to provide for significant expansion of 
social-learning and social-planning roles, as discussed in Chapter 7, and 
also for expansion of productive roles for those whose capabilities are 
more modest. 

The control dilemma requires for its resolution an effective network 
for participative planning at local, regional, national, and world levels, 
and again modifications to the economic incentives which at present 
make it good business to do violence to the environment, squander 
natural resources of all sorts, and treat persons as manipulable objects. 

The fourth dilemma, the need for more equitable distribution of 
resources, may prove to be the most difficult of all to resolve, consider- 
ing the exploding numbers of the earth's human beings. We have 
found it comfortable to believe, for some time, that the solution to the 
problem of the world's poor is not redistribution of wealth but helping 
the poor become productive. But the constraints of the "new scarcity" 
preclude solving the problem this way. At any rate, the poor of the 
world cannot become productive as America did, by exploiting cheap 
energy and institutionalizing waste as a way of life. 

3. Foster a period of experimentation and tolerance for diverse alternatives, 
both in life styles and in social institutions. Experimentation is needed 
to find out what works, but there is a more important reason for trying 
to maintain an experimental climate. That is to reduce hostile tensions 
between those who are actively promoting the new and those who are 
desperately attempting to hold on to the old. In public education, for 
instance, it is equally important that new experimental curricula be 
tried and that the traditional subjects be available for those who resist 
moving precipitously into the new. 

4. Encourage a politics of righteousness, and a heightened sense of public 
responsibilities in the private sector. Surveys and polls display drastically 
lowered faith of the American people in both business and government. 
At the same time, an atmosphere of trust is needed for the tasks ahead, 
the emergent image of man supports a moral perspective, and private 
lapses from moral and ethical behavior are harder to conceal. A politics 
of righteousness might have been laudable in any generation; it may be 
indispensable for safe passage through the times just ahead. A greatly 
heightened sense of stewardship and public responsibilities for power- 
ful institutions in the private sector is, the appropriate response to 
rising challenges to the legitimacy of large profit-seeking industrial 
corporations and financial institutions. If these are to be more than 
merely pious statements, changes in institutional arrangements and 

198 Changing Images of Man 

economic incentives will need to be instituted so that individuals and 
institutions can afford to behave in these commendable ways. 

5. Promote systematic exploration of, and foster education regarding, man's 
inner life. At the end of Chapter 4 we postulated an emergent scientific 
paradigm placing far more emphasis than in the past on explorations of 
subjective experience — of those realms that have heretofore been left 
to the humanities and religion, and to some extent to clinical psy- 
chology. The present situation leaves far too much of this societally 
important research to informal and illicit activities. Interested persons, 
not all young, resort to cultish associations, bizarre experimentation, 
and illegal drug use because they find legitimated opportunities for 
guided exploration in the society's religious, educational, scientific, and 
psychotherapeutic institutions to be inadequate, inappropriate, or in- 
accessible. This nation's guarantees of religious freedom have been in a 
curious way subverted by the preponderating orthodoxy of a materi- 
alistic scientific paradigm. 

6. Accept the necessity of social controls for the transition period while 
safeguarding against longer-term losses of freedom. The transformation that 
is underway has a paradoxical aspect, according to the five initial 
premises. In considerable measure it has been brought about by the 
success of material progress (through better nutrition, higher standard 
of living, education, and the media) in raising more persons above 
excessive concern with subsistence needs. On the other hand, as the 
transition-related economic decline and social disruptions set in, they 
will tend to accentuate materialistic security needs. Political tensions will 
rise, and disunity will characterize social affairs. Regulation and res- 
traint of behavior will be necessary in order to hold the society together 
while it goes around a difficult corner. The more there can be general 
understanding of the transitory but inescapable nature of this need, the 
higher will be the likelihood that a more permanent authoritarian 
regime can be avoided. 

This is no strategy of "business as usual," if these six elements are 
taken seriously. They can contribute to a more orderly transformation, 
with fewer social wounds to be healed, than would be otherwise the 
case. Appendix E lists some exemplary specific actions that might be 
part of implementing such a strategy. 

One last word. The general tone of this work has been optimistic, 
which is fitting since there does indeed appear to be a path — through a 
profound transformation of society, the dynamics for which may al- 
ready be in place — to a situation where the present major dilemmas of 
the late-industrial era appear at least resolvable. That optimism, 

Guidelines and Strategies 199 

however, relates to the potentialities only. It should not be mistaken for 
optimism that industrial civilization will develop the requisite under- 
standing, early enough, to enable it to navigate these troubled waters 
without nearly wrecking itself in the process. In hoping this, some of us 
would be less sanguine. 

(Source unknown.) 



Images of humankind which are dominant in a culture are of fun- 
damental importance because they underlie the ways in which the 
society shapes its institutions, educates its young, and goes about 
whatever it perceives its business to be. Changes in these images are of 
particular concern at the present time because our industrial society 
may be on the threshold of a transformation as profound as that which 
came to Europe when the Medieval Age gave way to the rise of science 
and the Industrial Revolution. 

In this study we have attempted to: 

1. illuminate significant ways our society has been shaped by myths 
and images or the past; 

2. explore key deficiencies of current images of man and identify 
characteristics needed in future images; and 

3. derive guidelines for actions to facilitate the emergence of more 
adequate images of humankind, and of a better society. 

We have concentrated particularly on an analysis of images which 
derive from industrialism and science, exploring ways in which these 
might be transformed so as to further both personal and cultural 

The recent industrial-state era can be typified by a number of almost 
certainly obsolescent premises, such as: 

• That progress is synonymous with economic growth and increasing consumption. 

• That mankind is separate from nature, and that it is the human destiny to conquer 

• That economic efficiency and scientific reductionism are the most trustworthy 
approaches to fulfillment of the goals of humanity. 

Such premises were very appropriate for the transition from a world 
made up of low-technology agrarian endeavors and city-states to one 
dominated by high-technology nation-states; they helped provide a 
seemingly ideal way to increase humankind's standard of living and to 
bring problems of physical survival under control. But their successful 
realization has resulted in an interconnected set of urgent societal 
problems which likely cannot be resolved if we continue to accept those 
premises; they now appear ill-suited for the further transition to a 
planetary society that would distribute its affluence equitably, regulate 

CIM - O Z\J I 

202 Changing Images of Man 

itself humanely, and embody appropriate images of the further future. 

If the post-industrial era of the future is dominated by the industrial- 
era premises, images, and policies of the past, the control of deviant 
behavior needed to make societal regulation possible would in all 
likelihood require the application of powerful socio- and psycho-tech- 
nologies. The result could well be akin to what has been termed 
"friendly fascism — a managed society which rules by a faceless and 
widely dispersed complex of warfare-welfare-industrial-communica- 
tions-police bureaucracies with a technocratic ideology." Evidence 
exists that this sort of future is already nascent. 

In contrast to such a "technological extrapolationist" future, this 
report envisions an "evolutionary transformation" for society as a more 
hopeful possibility. 

Some characteristics of an adequate image of humankind for the 
post-industrial future were derived by: (1) noting the direction in which 
premises underlying the industrial present would have to change in 
order to bring about a more "workable" society; (2) from examination 
of the ways in which images of humankind have shaped societies in the 
past; and (3) from observation of some significant new directions in 
scientific research. A future "image of man" meeting these conditions 

1. convey a holistic sense of perspective or understanding of life; 

2. entail an ecological ethic, emphasizing the total community of 
life-in-nature and the oneness of the human race; 

3. entail a self-realization ethic, placing the highest value on 
development of selfhood and declaring that an appropriate func- 
tion of all social institutions is the fostering of human develop- 

4. be multi-leveled, multi-faceted, and integrative, accommodating 
various culture and personality types; 

5. involve balancing and coordination of satisfactions along many 
dimensions rather than the maximizing of concerns along one 
narrowly defined dimension (e.g. economic); and 

6. be experimental, open-ended, and evolutionary. 

It appears to be at least conceptually feasible that a future image of 
humankind having these characteristics could "work." Further, specific 
steps can be undertaken through which the facilitation and promul- 
gation of such an image might be accomplished. By comparing the 
conclusions drawn by investigators in fields ranging from mythology to 
the history of science, a number of stages in a seemingly universal 
"cycle of transformation" are presented to help formulate such next 

Summary 203 

But there exists little evidence to suggest that a change in the 
dominant image could be accomplished by rational deliberation, plan- 
ning, and organized activity — or that the results of such manipulative 
rationality would necessarily be benign. On the other hand, whether by 
fortunate circumstance or creative unconscious processes, an emerging 
image with many of the needed characteristics does seem to have made 
its (re)appearance. 

This emerging image reinstates the transcendental, spiritual side of 
humankind, so long ignored or denied by that official truth-seeking 
institution of modern society, science. The new image denies none of the 
conclusions of science in its contemporary form, but rather expands its 
boundaries. In a manner reminiscent of the well-worn wave-particle 
example from physics, the new image reconciles such pairs of 
"opposites" as body/spirit, determinism/free will, and science/religion. 
It includes the inner subjective as well as the outer objective world as 
valid areas of human experience from which knowledge can be 
obtained. It restores, in a way, the balance between the Middle Ages' 
preoccupation with the noumenal and the industrial era's preoc- 
cupation with the phenomenal. It brings with it the possibility of a new 
science of consciousness and ecological systems not limited by the 
manipulative rationality that dominates the science and technology of 
the present era. 

The issues raised in this report are crucial ones. Indeed if the 
analysis is accurate, our society may be experiencing the beginning of 
an institutional transformation as profound in its consequences as the 
Industrial Revolution, and simultaneously a conceptual revolution as 
shaking as the Copernican Revolution. 

History gives us little reason to take comfort in the prospect of 
fundamental and rapid social change — little reason to think we can 
escape without the accompanying threat of economic decline and social 
disruption considerably greater than anything we have experienced or 
care to imagine. If in fact a fundamental and rapid change in basic 
perceptions and values does occur, such a chaotic period seems inevit- 
able as the powerful momentum of the industrial era is turned in a new 
direction, and as the different members and institutions of the society 
respond with different speeds. Thus, a great deal depends upon a 
correct understanding of the nature of, and the need for, the trans- 
formation which is upon us. 

While actions and policies in keeping with the "technological 
extrapolationist" image would involve no great wrenching in the near 
term, they could lead to catastrophe or to "friendly fascism" in the 
longer term. Actions and policies in keeping with an "evolutionary 
transformationalist" image, on the other hand, might increase the level 

204 Changing Images of Man 

of seeming disorder and chaos during a transition period in the near 
term but later lead to a more desirable society. While the choice is not 
necessarily one that our society as a whole will or should make con- 
sciously and deliberately at this time, it is one that confronts each 
individual who is willing to accept responsibility for the future — rather 
than simply adapt to whatever the future may bring. 


Conscious, consciousness — the state or fact of awareness applied 
either to one's self -existence or to one or more external objects, 
states, or facts — characterized by sensation, emotion, volition, and 

Economic image of man — the image of humankind as "cogs in the 
industrial machine," valued chiefly for their roles as producers and 
consumers, and motivated primarily by those roles. 

Entropy — in thermodynamics, the degree to which the energy of a 
system has ceased to be available for doing work (as when the 
temperature of a heat source and a heat sink has become equalized). 
As expressed by the second law of thermodynamics, when a closed 
physical system is left alone, its entropy increases as the available 
energy decreases with the passage of time (leading to speculations 
that the universe is "running down"). In information theory, 
entropy is a measure of the uncertainty or disorder of knowledge in 
a system. 

Evolution, evolutionary — the process of continuous or step-wise 
change in form, structure, or function from lower, simpler or less 
desirable system states to those that are higher, more complex, or 
better — i.e. from higher to lower states of entropy. 

Evolutionary transformationalist image — a view of the future essen- 
tially involving transformation of the "industrial state paradigm" 
such that key dilemmas within it are resolved and human evolution is 

Gradient — a sequence of transitional forms, states, or qualities connect- 
ing related extremes. 

Image — (n.) a mental picture, description or conception (often held in 
common by persons of a particular culture) of reality symbolic of 
basic attitudes and orientation; (v.t.) to imagine or evoke a mental 
image picture. 

Industrial state paradigm — the particular set of attitudes, premises, 
ethics, and laws that dominate highly industrialized societies (see 
Paradigm below). 

Paradigm — the total pattern of perceiving, conceptualizing, acting, 
validating, and valuing associated with a particular image of reality 
that prevails in a science, a branch of science, a society or subculture. 

Spiritual — relating to or consisting of spirit, i.e. non-material levels 


206 Changing Images of Man 

of reality available to conscious and superconscious experience, often 
in imagistic thought. 

Subconscious — existing in the mind, but not available to consciousness. 

Superconscious, superconsciousness — the state or fact of awareness 
manifesting in ways that transcend the ordinary egocentric 
experience of existence (such as unitive consciousness with others, 
oceanic or "cosmic" consciousness involving heightened intuition, 
extrasensory or so-called transpersonal processes, "direct percep- 
tion," etc.). 

Technological extrapolist image — a view of the future essentially in- 
volving a continuation of the dominant premises, procedures, and 
trends that characterize highly industrial societies. 

Transformation — a type of change process in which the "shape" and 
the character of many or most interactions of a system suddenly 
change (as in the transformation from laminar to turbulent flow in a 
fluid; from unbelief to commitment in a religious conversion; or 
from pluralistic tolerance to xenophobic ("in-group solidarity due to 
out-group threat") isolationism in a society). In contrast with in- 
cremental or revolutionary change (as the latter terms are cus- 
tomarily used), transformation here refers to a "top-down/inside- 
out" change of the dominant social paradigm, as an organic process. 


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An Alternative View of History, 
The Spiritual Dimension of the Human Person, 
and a Third Alternative Image of Humanness 


An Alternative Interpretation of History 

Your image of psychically evolving man is, I think, incorrect. A study 
of the papers from The University of Chicago Symposium on Hunting 
and Gathering Societies held in the late 1960s, plus examination of the 
anthropologist Paul Rodin's work (and lots more!), has led me to a 
different hypothesis: humans have had the intellectual-analytic and 
spiritual-intuitive skills at about the same capacity level for at least 
12,000 years. I see a history as a series of thresholds: (1) the agricultural, 
village-based threshold of 10,000 B.C. when humans reached village- 
type densities; (2) the first urban-based kingdoms, 3500 B.C.; (3) the 
first attempts to weave moral teachings into large-scale political 
organization with the availability of the teachings of Buddha, Lao Tse, 
Confucius, and Vedic teachings, 500 to 200 B.C. with a flowering in 
Asoka's Empire; (4) Joachim de Fiore's vision of the post-bureaucratic 
age in the late 1 100s, and the whole concept of the demise of ecclesiasti- 
cal structures of society and the rule of the Holy Spirit in the hearts of 
men, which together with the great inflow of Islamic science and 
culture and Islamic translations of Greek manuscripts, and the rise of 
the Dominicans and Franciscans (post-bureaucratic religious orders) 
and the development of schools, research laboratories and workshops 
within the craft guilds, created a fantastic threshold and a sense of new 
possibilities beyond what twentieth-century visionaries now conceive. 
Thresholds (1) to (3) you also at least identify, but you skip over Islam 
and the thirteenth century entirely. My view is that while each of these 
thresholds represents a new level of societal complexity, it does not 
represent a new level of spiritual evolution. Rather, at each new level of 
complexity we stand again before the possibility of blending of our 


220 Changing Images of Man 

cognitive and spiritual-intuitive capacities, with a new set of supporting 
tools and social technology, and each time we have slid away from the 
threshold. My IRADES conference paper for September 1973 in Rome 
on Religious Potentials and Societal Complexity spells this out as I 
cannot here. I think it is important not to fall into the trap of thinking 
we have some new potentials to draw on because it will make us 
underestimate the difficulty of the task. I am fearful of a "mindless 

The Spiritual Dimension of the Human Person 

Your conception of the spiritual dimension is thin because you have 
said nothing at all about the Christian mystic tradition, only yoga and a 
bit of Confucius and a hint of Zen and Sufism. I have spent a whole 
year developing a model of the linking of cognitive and spiritual- 
intuitive faculties drawing on learning theory and the practices of the 
Christian mystics, also taking account of Zen and Yoga. It comes out 
rather differently than what you present, and I cannot possibly give the 
model in a short space here. Some indicators, however: you confuse 
transpersonal and transcendental. They are different. Also, writing of 
the passive will without a knowledge of Meister Eckhart and the 
Rhineland mystics makes it inadequate. Evelyn Underbill's mysticism 
gives the classic treatment of the kind of reworking of the human 
person involved in the mystical path. She points out that the astral 
realm, which is the one you are primarily dealing with when you write 
of techniques for inducing altered states of consciousness and heigh- 
tening our powers of ESP, precognition, psychokinesis, etc., is one that 
the saints all recognize and move through as quickly as possible. Self- 
realization as you conceive it is very much an astral-realm concept, and 
while no one can deny that these are fascinating phenomena and are 
certainly amenable to currently developing techniques of analysis and 
training, I predict that we are in for at least a 10,000-year period of 
wallowing in the astral realm before we have "used it up" as we are 
now "using up" the potentialities of the scientific approach. Maybe that 
is necessary, but let no one think that those 10,000 years will be any 
better than the 12,000 we have behind us, in terms of human goodness 
and welfare. We are in for a long, bad spell of demonism and are 
bound to have periodic eruptions of witchcraft scares — we are begin- 
ning to have them already. Read Masters and Houston's Mind Games, 
taking time to induce self-hypnosis and do each exercise as you go 
along (as I did), and then start evaluating the new mind-control 
institutes — like Arica. We have some difficult times ahead. The point is 

Appendix A 221 

we can do all this, but it will not "save us" because it does not transform 
the will or direct the heart. Jean Houston is herself getting very 
worried about all this, I understand, and her approach is to demo- 
cratize mind control by teaching everyone to do it. I do not think it will 

While I like your emphasis on wisdom, and the ecological ethic, your 
emphasis on self-realization makes me sad. What is the self, that we 
should realize it? You treat charism as some kind of social poison — 
which I understand well enough when you are thinking in contexts like 
Cohn's Pursuit of the Millennium, but charism, eruptions of grace or spirit 
into the prepared or unprepared human heart, is a hint of something 
else that lies before us besides merely self-realization. 

A Third Alternative Image of Humanness 

(contrasting with the two presented in your Chapter 8) 

This would be another way to conceptualize new image, counterpart 

1. In genetic substrate, consider findings of Eibl-Eibesfeldt and Hass 
on genetic substrate for nurturant behavior, not just aggression; also 
take account of whole Kropotkin tradition — Clyde Allee, etc. — on 
cooperative tendencies in animal and human. 

2. Development of a sense of the creator as something more than the 
other end of a divine human continuum. Respect for the Cloud of 

3. The evolving self and evolving social structures also recognize a 
"beyond" self and "beyond" social structure. 

4. Deemphasis of sensuality, discovery of family as training ground 
for how to be human, overcoming of pathological fear of family 
intimacy; family as base for ever-expanding circles of friendship, 
extended family a growth reality, but intimate enduring pair relation- 
ships basis for all other loving and caring. (Israel Charny's Marital Love 
and Hate has an important concept here on family as training ground. 
My own fairly extensive observations on multiple love relationships is 
that they are costly and disastrous for adults and children. Also family 
is an important source of images of the future — see my "Familism and 
Creation of Futures.") Discover tenderness outside of sexuality, widen 
bases for human friendships. 

5. Balance of rational and intuitive — same as in [your evolutionary 
transformationalist image]. 

6. Growth of spiritual life beyond concept of altered states of con- 

222 Changing Images of Man 

sciousness, in practices of contemplative prayer that enrich capacities 

for social interactions in new dimensions. 

7. Beyond ephemeralization, the ethic of frugality itself, joy of doing 

with less. 

I realize all this needs much more explaining: 
Things I miss in manuscript, not already mentioned: 

1. Recognition of growth value of pain and conflict. Pain is a teacher 
we probably cannot do without. 

2. As alternative to hierarchical model, Anthony Judge's non- 
hierarchical "solar-system model" which he uses for international rela- 
tions but can be used at any level. Publications in Journal of Union of 
International Associations. 

3. Not enough emphasis on practical aspects of the planetary person, 
the new person at home in all kinds of transnational identities and 
networks. Nation state, "America" too important in manuscript — these 
are fast becoming irrelevant. Too little emphasis on multinational 
business corporations (just one kind of network, must not be overem- 
phasized). Cultural initiatives from elsewhere. Assumption is that we 
choose to "use" what we like from the East. It will not happen that way. 
West will soon be by-passed, at least very possibly — ought to be put in 

4. You have Sri Aurobindo in your image but left Gandhi out 
entirely. His concepts of sanodya — not wanting what others cannot 
have — and a loving concern for the welfare of others that enhances, 
rather than devalues, the self are badly needed. Your image is more 
a-social and self-centered than it needs to be because this emphasis is 

The manuscript is also a bit pale and lacks a sense of the tremendous 
dynamic of love. Self-actualization is but the shadow of self-overflowing 


Information Systems and Social Ethics 


On Information Systems 

In [earlier chapters] you almost omit reference to what I regard as 
the most revolutionary scientific image change of our time (although 
you rely on it in later chapters). And insofar as you do refer to it in 
Chapter 4, you do not distinguish it from other later and still pending 
changes. I refer to the revolutionary impact of the distinction which 
science has learned to draw in the last 30 years between energy and 
information. This, more than anything else (in my view), has changed 
the scientific image of reality by negating reductionism and substituting 
a hierarchic concept of levels of organization, each dependent on but 
not explicable in terms of the level below (thus confirming what 
Michael Polanyi has been saying) [without its aid]. 

It has also legitimized the scientific study of human communication 
(which you barely mention) and thus introduced a new scientific image 
of man as communicating social man and of the hierarchic develop- 
ment of both persons and societies by attaining different levels of 
communication. D. M. Mackay, for example, has tried to show why and 
how dialogue differs from attempts at mutual manipulation by words. I 
once heard Professor Ham at Toronto interrupt a similar demon- 
stration to show how far the diagram he had drawn fell short of the 
kind of mutual communication described by Martin Buber in / and 
Thou. Saul Gorn writes, "We spend the first year of our lives learning 
that we end at our skin, and all the rest of our lives learning that we 
don't." These men are a physicist, an engineer, and a designer of 
computer languages. 

Note that this huge change results not at all (as yet) from studying 
ESP and all that. It comes from studying those familiar powers at which 
science had declined to look, even when it took them for granted. 
Science itself has always developed far more by listening, talking, and 
reflecting than by observing, experimenting, and reasoning. Know- 


224 Changing Images of Man 

ledge of (not merely about) other human beings depends even more on 
social communication. Our main input comes neither from our five 
accepted senses, nor from our more esoteric ones, but from the activity 
of our own minds in intimate linguistic communication with others. 
This fact, emerging from scientific tabu, makes the human dimension 

Brief references to this revolution are to be found in Chapter 4 (e.g. 
the reference to hierarchy). I would like to see them developed, 
separated and put earlier. . . . The revolution is itself both earlier in 
time and distinct in character from those to which you look forward. It 
has already taken place. It is a shift in scientific categories as important 
as the distinction of energy from matter which marked the previous 
250 years. And, incidentally, it is essential to understanding how any 
kind of ethic arises. 

Let me expand a little on the revolution. (I have written about this in 
many papers, e.g. in "Science and the Regulation of Society.") When 
Driesch in the 1890s asserted that his divided sea-urchin embryos could 
not grow into complete sea urchins unless they somehow knew where 
they were going, he wrongly postulated a goal-seeking force (entelechy) 
and was reviled, because forces must not be thought of as seeking 
goals. If he had advanced the much more daring, but more correct, 
hypothesis that every cell was saturated with information about the 
future shape of the whole, he would have been ignored because 
information was not then a scientific concept. It became a scientific 
concept half a century later — and within another decade Crick and 
Watson had identified (not broken) the genetic code. Three centuries 
earlier Descartes had had to postulate a special kind of matter (res 
cogitans) to account for mind, just as Driesch had to postulate a special 
kind of energy to account for form-making. Both men lacked an 
acceptable universe or discourse adequate to express their insights. 

Similarly Freud, trying to describe form in terms of energy, was 
driven into difficulties which would simply not have arisen if he had 
been born a few decades later. His successors are beginning to fill out 
his concept of the ego as a creator of form, rather than a resultant of 

If this view is acceptable to you, I hope you will be able to squeeze it 
in, partly as an example of prematurity and tabu, but chiefly as the 
most important conceptual revolution of our time — hardly a debt to 
science (non-scientists have always known that men lived in a concep- 
tual world of their own making) but the withdrawal of a scientific tabu 
which legitimizes human communication as the means by which men 
humanize themselves and their children and build a human world 
hierarchically distinct from the biological organ with which they build 

Appendix B 225 

it. Every computer engineer knows that there is a category difference 
between a program and a computer. An un-programmed computer 
cannot compute. And even the activities of a programmed computer, if 
described in physical terms, give no clue at all to what the program is 
all about. Some psychologists and biologists may still think it a scandal 
to distinguish mind from brain as complementary categories hierar- 
chically ordered. But such distinctions are common assumptions to 
programmers and electronic engineers. 

So even if there were no other states of consciousness, we should be 
in for a major revolution by being allowed to think about the ones we 
know we have. 

I am most interested in all Chapter 4 has to say about research into 
different states of consciousness and about psi phenomena. I find all 
this much more relevant and important than I expected. But I think it 
will greatly gain if you can separate it from this other element. This 
would also enable you to deal more adequately with general systems 
theory which owes its development on the psycho-social side to the 
concept of information. It would be well, in doing so, to mark the 
distinction between systems open only to the exchange of energy and 
those open a/50 to the exchange of information. This is an important 
distinction in general systems theory as I understand it, and an essen- 
tial ingredient in the building of hierarchies of organization. 

On Social Ethics 

This lacuna (as I see it) in your presentation seems to me also to 
weaken Chapter 5. . . . Ethics appear as something we need but we have 
been told virtually nothing about how they originate except that they 
are influenced by images of man. Now whatever their origin, ethics can 
only be understood (by me at least) as standards of what to expect from 
each other and from ourselves in concrete situations. They are possible 
only because we can engage through communication in these social and 
inter-personal transactions. 

You rightly stress that these standards reflect images of man current 
in the culture. But because you understress (in my view) the specifically 
social nature of man (humanized by membership of a specific society), 
you leave the reader to assume that the cogency of an ethic in your 
view derives directly from belief in a metaphysic, i.e. that the "ought" 
is derived directly from the "is." Apart from the fact that this is 
generally regarded as very imperfectly true, it leaves a weakness which 
becomes apparent in Chapter 5 when we are invited to plan the 
development of an ecological ethic and self-realization ethic. From then 

226 Changing Images of Man 

on we search, almost in vain, for an indication that the new image of 
man is to imply any sense of responsibility towards his neighbour next 

Now it seems to me self-evident that a world such as you describe 
would have to pay for being de-politicized and decentralized by a huge 
increase in social responsibility and that this would greatly limit all this 
self-actualization except insofar as it became (as it should) a main 
channel through which individuals actualize themselves. A more 
human world will be a more socially responsible world and this res- 
ponsibility will have costs as well as benefits, limitations as well as 
enlargements in terms of "self-actualization." This verity is the great 
tabu of the counter-culture. It seems to me to have infected you also. 
The resolution or containment of conflict is not explained, but simply 

Everyone knows that I do not further my neighbour's self-actualiza- 
tion by seeking my own any more (or less) than I further his wealth by 
seeking my own. On the other hand, to find one's own self-actualiza- 
tion simply in helping others to find theirs has always been one 
definition of a saint. Yet your summary of "an adequate image of 
man," suddenly replete with ethics, seems to have no room for social 
ethics at all. A duty to the ecosphere is the only duty expected of this 
abstract Man — except the duty to "actualize himself." It does not 
expressly deny that no one can actualize his potential in one way 
without denying its actualization in another, or actualize it in any way 
in isolation from his neighbour. But it makes no reference to the social 
demands and constraints within which this personal artistry is to be 
performed, and which are inseparable from its value. 

So my basic question (if not yours) remains unanswered. An 
adequate image of man for the U.S.A. in A.D. 2000 would find a jointly 
acceptable position for the negro, assure integrity in the White House 
and produce a markedly different distribution of wealth, earnings, and 
incomes (I could produce a similar catalogue for Britain). It is not clear 
to me how these would flow merely from the changed images of man 
described in Chapter 5. 

This comment is the residue of my original objection that changing 
images of man will not of itself change social ethics and cannot even be 
convincingly described without including an account of social ethics 
and the reciprocal effect of social ethics on it. In other words, it 
complains that all this thinking lacks an adequate sociological dimen- 
sion. (Philosophical thinking nearly always does. I regard Man with a 
capital letter as a danger signal.) You cannot fully meet this point even 
if you wanted to, but I think it would help if you were to give more 
importance to the emergence of human communication as a subject for 

Appendix B 227 

study at its familiar levels and not only at the higher levels which most 
interest you and thus to the current change in the image of com- 
municating, social man, member, creator, and creation of a specific 
social group. 


A View of Modified Reductionism 

(excerpted from The Method of Science and the Meaning of Reality) 

The problem of "levels of explanation" recurs frequently . . . and it 
merits attention. 

It needs to be faced . . . because it involves the question whether all 
phenomena in this world, including the most complex, can find their 
ultimate explanation in the constructs of the simpler sciences. The 
answer is not an unqualified Yes or No. 

First of all, it is necessary to draw a clear distinction between levels of 
explanation and levels of organization. The term levels of explanation 
refers, strictly speaking, to degrees of abstractness of the explanatory 
scheme, to what one might call metaphorically the distance of the 
constructs of explanation from the protocol plane of experience. 
Levels of organization, on the other hand, designate stages of complexity 
of phenomena. Theories which postulate the need of different types of 
law, i.e. of different modes of explanation at different levels of com- 
plexity, are also characterized as theories of different levels of explana- 
tion. In the present context the sense of this phrase will be thus 

The problem of levels appears also as the problem of reducibility of 
phenomena. It asks whether observations on a plane of high com- 
plexity are reducible to the laws active on a lower plane, for instance 
whether biological phenomena such as growth, cellular organization, 
teleological function, etc., are ultimately explicable by reference to the 
laws of physics and chemistry. Every question about levels can there- 
fore be transformed to one with respect to reducibility. 

Two essential resolutions of the problems of reducibility have been 
proposed. One is the radical negative one which claims that different 
laws act at different levels of complexity and that these laws may well be 
logically unrelated or even contradictory. According to this view, there 
is no continuity of explanation between levels. The other thesis insists 
upon a continuous connection between explanatory modes at different 
stages of complexity. This latter view may take two forms: 


230 Changing Images of Man 

(a) The laws at the lowest level and sufficient to explain phenomena on all levels. 
These basis laws, to be sure, may not be fully known at the present time, but it is 
expected that when they are at hand they will explain all possible observations in 
the entire universe. 

(b) The second view is milder. It does not claim, for example, that the laws of physics 
and chemistry are necessarily sufficient to account for happenings in the biological 
realm, but it insists that the laws in the more complex biological field, while not 
identical with those of physics and chemistry, are nevertheless logically compatible 
with them. This last view, (b), which asserts limited reducibility will be espoused in 
this discussion and in this book we proceed to describe it now in more explicit 

Perhaps at the lowest level of scientific interest is the mechanics of 
particles. Here the physicist is able to operate with simple theories 
involving Newton's laws and the idea of forces. The state of a small 
system of particles is fully described in terms of the positions and 
velocities of the particles and the forces that act between them. 

Greater complexity is met at the level of large aggregates of particles 
such as gases and liquids. Here it is useless to describe conditions in 
terms of positions and velocities of all individual molecules. Higher 
level concepts like temperature, pressure, phase, entropy, etc., are 
needed. These concepts, while perfectly clear in their reference to 
aggregates, have no meaning with respect to a single molecule; a single 
molecule has no temperature, no pressure, no entropy, etc. Yet there is 
no logical contradiction at all between the assumption that a gas has 
temperature and a single one of its constituents has not. Furthermore, 
knowledge of the positions and velocities of each individual molecule 
permits an inference (through well-known theorems of statistical 
mechanics of all the collective properties of the gas. The reverse, 
however, is not true: knowing the temperature, pressure, entropy, etc., 
of a gas one cannot infer the positions and velocities of the individual 
molecules. This state of affairs is best characterized by saying that there 
is continuity of explanation from below, but not from above. One can go 
continually toward an understanding of matters on the higher plane if 
one starts with knowledge on the lower plane, though not in the 
reverse direction. But in this ascent, knowledge on the lower plane 
becomes irrelevant because new concepts like temperature, etc., emerge, 
and these have no direct reference to particles. 

Another example may further clarify the situation. Many problems 
of atomic physics can be understood on the basis of so-called dynamical 
laws, the laws which control the behavior of individual electrons, 
protons, and other so-called elementary particles. These are regulated 
by the Schrodinger equation (or some other "wave" equation) which is, 
in a certain sense, the equivalent of Newton's second law in classical 

Appendix C 231 

mechanics. If, however, several electrons or several other particles of 
the same kind are present, another, more important law supervenes 
upon the Schrodinger equation; this is Pauli's Exclusion Principle 
which rules that no two electrons can be in the same state. It is this 
remarkable principle, dealt witrTmore fully in the next chapter, which 
makes possible all so-called cooperative effects in inorganic matter: the 
unique regularities of atomic structure, chemical binding, crystal 
shapes, magnetism, electrical conductivity, and many others. This 
principle, on the other hand, has absolutely no relevance for single 
electrons; its significance arises only in connection with collectives. 
Once more, explanation is continuous from below but discontinuous 
from above. 

There is at present no road toward a full explanation of biological 
effects from the domains of physics and chemistry. In accordance with 
the present interpretation of level theory, however, higher level 
"organizational" laws which will be discovered in researches on biolo- 
gical phenomena are likely to be sui generis, not derivable from what is 
known at present in the physical realm. Yet when discovered they are 
expected to be compatible with what is known on this lower level. 

It is this cautious view of reducibility, this modern version of the 
theory of levels of explanation, that is being held in this book when 
reference is made to the problems of reducibility, or of levels of 
explanation. Many aspects of these levels are clarified and used exten- 
sively by Taylor (Chapter 5); they play an important role in our 
understanding of social organization. 


Scientific Images of Man and the Man in the Street 

Comment by Rene Dujbos 

I do not share the common belief that the images of man have been 
profoundly influenced by science. But I realize that the report is 
organized precisely around this assumption. To quote your own words, 
"The focus of the study is directed at images that are largely derivative 
from industrialism and science. ..." It is obvious, of course, that 
technology has influenced somewhat the attitude of the man in the 
street but I am much more skeptical concerning the effects of theoreti- 
cal science. I suspect that a learned and sophisticated man of Greece or 
of China 2500 years ago would have had an image of himself and of his 
relation to the cosmos not very different from that of academic people 
in America today. As to the man in the street, I doubt that he is more 
concerned with this problem than was an average citizen anywhere in 
the Western world a few hundred years ago. 

Comment by David Cahoon 

I will share with you a line of rumination that the chapters evoked in 
me, a "fear" that I have seen given little attention (except by Donald 
Michael in The Unprepared Society and his recent book on Planning 
for Change). What "hits" me from your perspective on "Images" is that 
there seems to be a growing gap between a generalized "popular 
mind" and perhaps a "professional mind" regarding "Image of Man." 
For example,... it seems to me that the "popular mind" is rather 
unaffected by what you call the "industrial era images" that might be in 
conflict or alternatives to the "Am. Creed" Image (man as "beast," 
man as "mechanism," man as "holon," "Perennial Phil." image). 

The "professional mind," on the contrary, is strongly troubled by 
these conflicting "images." In other words, the religious and political 
heritage seems dominant for the "popular mind," while increasingly 
the scientific heritage is dominant for the "professional mind." True, 
the "popular mind" buys materialism and technology, an offshoot of 
science and "economic man," but as William Thompson has recently 

CI M-Q fcJJ 

234 Changing Images of Man 

emphasized (in The Edge of History) this seems to be more "pragmatic" 
than empirical-positivistic, and the surge toward Edgar Cayce and Jesse 
Stern-type "spiritualism" would seem to reflect an old "soul" image 
more than a new para-psychic scientific image. Thus the "popular 
mind" image is probably much less aware of or threatened by such trends 
as "friendly fascism," Ellul's technological out-of-human-control 
dynamism, Roger MaGowan Mechanized Cy-Borg phantasies, or a 
Kafka-esque diffused paranoia. 

Also, it seems likely that the "popular mind" will react to Toffler's 
"future shock" increased pace of change, confusion, uncertainty, etc., 
by over-stimulation threat, retreat, regression, etc., while more of the 
"professional mind" will respond with stimulation, challenge, adap- 

So if, as you argue, science "images of man" will increasingly 
displace the religious heritage as formative in the culture, I wonder if 
this will not be differentially true with these two "publics," and possibly 
not very true at all with the "popular mind"? // this is so, we face a 
dangerously "elitist" planning or social engineering gap in the culture, 
where the democratic heritage would operate increasingly without 
power or impact on the directions of change. It seems to me that this 
"Images" gap from the heritage of science will only get much larger as 
the "professional mind" is strongly influenced by the new astronomy, 
DNA-RNA life-tampering, para-psychic and meditative disciplines, bio- 
genetics, systems analysis, anti-matter worlds and "flying torches," etc.! 
I oversimplify, of course, and there are great diversities within the two 
categories "popular mind" and "professional mind"... but some 
differential "Images" impact seems strongly inevitable and elitist — 
especially so, since the intellectual community of communications- 
math-cybernation-etc. will surely be the new priesthood of the post- 
industrial society? 


Some Projects Suited to Government or Foundation 


Without claiming that they have been, or could be, demonstrated, 
Chapter 8 laid our five premises that are at least plausible on the basis 
of the arguments presented therein. In summary, they are: 

1. There are increasingly evident signs of the imminent emergence of a new image of 

2. An interrelating set of fundamental dilemmas, growing apparently ever more 
pressing, seem to demand for their ultimate resolution a drastically changed image 
of man-on-earth. 

3. There is a serious mismatch between modern industrial-state culture and in- 
stitutions and the emerging new image of man. 

4. There is, and will continue to be, deep psychological resistance to both the new 
image and its implications. 

5. The evolutionary transformation described in Chapter 7 is desirable, indeed neces- 
sary, if highly undesirable future outcomes are to be avoided. 

Based on these premises six elements of an overall strategy for a 
non-disruptive transition were derived. In summary form these are: 

1. Promote awareness of the una voidability of the transformation. 

2. Foster construction of a guiding vision of a workable society built around the new 
image of man and new social paradigm. 

3. Foster a period of experimentation and tolerance for diverse alternatives. 

4. Encourage a politics of righteousness and a heightened sense of public respon- 
sibilities of the private sector. 

5. Promote systematic exploration of, and foster education regarding, man's inner life, 
his subjective experience. 

6. Plan adequate social controls for the transition period while safeguarding against 
longer-term losses of freedom. 

Following are some exemplary projects that derive from or are 
compatible with this overall strategy. 

Promoting National and World Awareness 

• Generate dialogue, possibly in connection with the American Issues Forum to be 
conducted during the U.S. Bicentennial year, relating to the nature, necessity, and 


236 Changing Images of Man 

timing of the transformation, and the definition of a more workable post-industrial 
• Prepare dialogue-focusing materials (pamphlets, videotapes, etc.) relating to the 
broad characteristics of the transformation, the challenge of the "new scarcity," the 
future of work, economic incentives to foster ecologically sound behavior, alternate 
fates of the poor nations, possibilities of a "steady-state" economy, etc. 

Addressing Global and Large-scale Problems 

Following Piatt (1969), initiate and support coordinating councils to focus and 
legitimate research on solutions to our major future systemic crises. 
Support projects to generate images of post-industrial social organization and global 
community, test for resolution of key dilemmas of high-technology society, deduce 
norms of human behavior which would permit these images to be realized. 
Develop a multi-level planning network to provide coordinated participative plan- 
ning in such areas as economic development, land use, education, environment, 
transportation, family assistance, communications. (A model for the national-level 
portion of such a network is delineated in Senator Humphrey's Balanced National 
Growth and Development Policy Bill, S-3050.) 

Develop the capability to carry out anticipatory planning for future crises (as 
contrasted with reactive planning after the crisis has occurred). 

Fund research to develop the application of systems analysis to the global environ- 
ment, to allow more rapid assessment of interconnectivity of global systems, the 
nature of the relationships among them, and the varying contribution of major 
regions of the world to perturbations of the systems. 

Develop simulation and general systems-analysis tools for application to complex 
environmental systems, management of organizations, ecological simulation, etc. 
Map the major global systems, indicating nations/corporations responsible for their 
management plus assessment of the minimum conditions necessary for their main- 

Study ways of making complex social systems less vulnerable to system breakdown 
(either accidental or deliberately caused), e.g. development of system-independent 
alternative technologies for continued life-support during breakdown. 
Explore the possibility of a general-systems anthropological-sociological-biological 
paradigm of human ecology, taking into account cultural images, biological rhythms, 
relations with nature, rapid environmental changes, etc. 

Fostering Social and Institutional Experimentation 

Promote experiments with steady-state economics, new forms of "general-benefit" 

corporations, new life styles, etc. 

Fund experimental communities to test various alternative future scenarios. 

Develop "Blueprint for Survival" types of projects. 

Promote experiments to improve communications and reconciliation of differences 

between groups holding different conceptual paradigms. 

Studies of Ethics and Values 

Carry out research on changing ethics and values in advanced societies, focusing 

particularly on implications for the future of the advanced world. 

Study historical examples of relative amounts of competitive versus cooperative 

Appendix E 237 

behavior as affected by stress conditions, with particular emphasis on the cultural 
factors influencing the balance. 

Explore uses of mass media to alert populations to the social macro-problem and to 
behaviors essential to its ultimate resolution. 

Research on the Nature of Man 

Research into the broadest possible range of conscious processes via drug research, 
hypnosis, biofeedback, etc., to actively investigate the state-specific nature of science 
and to break loose from present limitations on the current technological paradigm. 
Investigation of man's perception of time: the sense of emergency is directly related 
to the temporal sense of the individual. What are the factors controlling this? What 
are the possibilities in modulation of time sense so that we become alert to potential 
crises with a longer lead time? 

Active research into alternate problem-solving modes, employing methods of stimu- 
lating creativity, inventive states of mind, etc. 

Research into the training and use of paranormal perception (possibly via behavioral 
techniques) to accentuate the evolution of certain essential aspects of man's con- 

Investigation of the sensitivity of the human organism to the changes wrought in the 
environment by industrial activities — e.g. electromagnetic pollution, noise pollu- 
tion — and techniques for the lowering of these. What are the effects of population 
density of image-of-man concerns? What kinds of characteristics in environmental 
design are essential to the overall health of the human being? This latter is crucial as 
man spends more and more total time in completely artificial spaces. 
Investigation of the effects of biological entrainment, biological rhythms, etc. 
Research on the effects of one's thoughts (attitudes, emotional states) on the lower 
microorganisms in the body — which together form essential symbiotic sybsystems on 
which the functioning of the larger human system depends; relationship to psy- 
chosomatic illness. 

Research into how to develop capacity to use seven new "senses of the mind" (proposed 
by Teilhard de Chardin in The Phenomenon of Man, suggested to us by Professor Jonis 
A. Roze) that would allow an expanded evolutionary picture to become comprehen- 

1. A sense of spatial immensity, recognizing everything, from the subatomic to the 
supergalactic and all that is in between, as an immensity within which we can follow in 
our minds the lines and radii that lead toward us from every object, however far 
away and however close or within. 

2. A sense of depth, or a sense of time, breaking out from the narrow confines of the 
immediate past events and known histories that condition the perception of our 
whole life. This would enable us to sense endless sequences in time going far beyond 
the immediate human time-reference scale, even for humanity as a whole, and to 
encompass sequences and events of billions of years of duration and flow. 

3. A sense of number, denoting the profound interdependence and interaction that 
every movement and change, however slight, demonstrates "the bewildering 
multitude of material or living elements." This is akin to the expression that one 
cannot pluck a blade of grass without the trembling of a star, i.e. the simplest act 
reverberates and touches myriads of things around it. 

4. A sense of proportion, acknowledging in our mind levels upon levels of organization of 
the universe, each expressing its own unique reality: the world of quarks and atoms 
with its lawfulness and interaction, the world of minerals and crystals, the world of 
animals and plants, the world of man with its unique laws and interactions, and so on, 
spreading from microcosms to macrocosms. 

5. A sense of quality, recognizing certain new stages of evolutionary growth and 
perfection and the excellence of their expression that is complete in itself, yet 

238 Changing Images of Man 

without isolating them or stopping the process or "breaking the physical unity of the 

6. A sense of movement, perceiving within the seeming immobility, slowness and 
repetitiousness of the world the underlying and ongoing development and 
recognizing the inner push and explosive power impulsing an irresistible move 
toward creating the evolutionary newness. 

7. A sense of the organic, "discovering physical links and structural unity under the 
juxtaposition of successions and collectivities" by which the natural development of 
any process and structure is seen as an organic or authentic phenomenon, part of the 
natural ecology of the universe. 


The Basic Paradigm of a Future Socio -cultural System 


Center member Virginia Hine is an anthropologist at the University of Miami. She has been 
collaborating with anthropologist Luther P. Gerlach of the University of Minnesota on studies 
of "movements" — political, social, religious, self-help, and others. Hine and Gerlach 
characterize these structures as "segmented polycephalous networks." In the following paper 
written for World Issues Hine draws an analogy between these non -hierarchical groups and 
multinational corporations. 

Futurists of various persuasions extrapolate trends, create scenarios, 
design global cultures and computerize Utopias. Unwilling to accept the 
apparently haphazard trial-and-error process by which evolutionary 
changes have occurred in the past, many who were trained in the 
man-in-control-of-nature myth are now heroically attempting to fill the 
role of man-in-control-of-evolution. As various schools of futurists 
compete for funds, influence, and a crack at the global controls, 
evolution has been bumbling along in its accustomed way, caroming off 
the walls of resistance to change, picking up a viable mutant here and 
there, and spawning even more glorious variations. Even the rational 
plans of the futurists are grist for its multi-faceted mill. 

Perhaps the time has come when we can penetrate the mists and see 
the shape of things to come, not as we might have planned them, but as 
they are in fact emerging. Piecing together a range of observations by 
anthropologists, sociologists, it is possible to suggest that the basic 
paradigm of a future socio-cultural system is already born — muling and 
puking in its infantile state, but here. 

Most futurists assume the bureaucratic mode to be the only 
mechanism by which large numbers of people can be organized. 
Therefore, in contemplating the emergence of a global society they 
take it for granted that a global bureaucracy of some sort is inevitable. 
They argue only about whether it can be democratic in nature or will, 
of necessity, be a "Leviathan," costing large sums of individual 
freedoms. Others, often considered impractical idealists, talk of 

World Issues (published by the Center for Democratic Institutions), April/May 1977. 


240 Changing Images of Man 

debureaucratization and decentralization, but offer few ideas as to how 
this state of affairs could come about. The assumption is made that 
those in positions of economic and political power are unlikely to 
voluntarily change their mode of operation because the source of their 
power is the bureaucratic structure. 

In the past fifteen years there has been an intensification of effort by 
the powerless in nations around the world to organize themselves to 
effect social structural change. During the last ten of these years, 
Luther P. Gerlach of the University of Minnesota and I have been 
doing research in a wide range of these so-called "movements." We 
have found that no matter what the "cause," the goals, or the beliefs, 
and no matter what type of movement it is — political, social, religious — 
there is the same basic structural form and mode of functioning. 
Wherever people organize themselves to change some aspect of society, 
a non-bureaucratic but very effective form of organizational structure 
seems to emerge. 

We called the type of structure we were observing a "segmented 
polycephalous network," a clumsy phrase that led to an acronym SPN, 
pronounced "spin." For reasons which will become clear as the dis- 
cussion unfolds, it will henceforth be written as SP(I)N. 

Conventional organization charts usually involve boxes arranged in a 
hierarchical order with the controlling box either at the top or the 
bottom. An organization chart of a SP(I)N would look like a badly 
knotted fishnet with a multitude of nodes or cells of varying sizes, each 
linked to all the others either directly or indirectly. Some of those cells 
within the network would, in themselves, be hierarchically organized 
bureaucracies recognized by the public as regional, national, or even 
international organizations. Examples from the environmental move- 
ment were the Audubon Society or the Sierra Club. Counterparts in 
Black Liberation would be the NAACP, the Urban League or CORE. 
Feminism has its NOW and Red Power its National Congress of 
American Indians. But in all these movement networks, the majority 
of cells are local groups of varying sizes from a handful of members to 
several hundreds, some organized according to the conventional mode, 
many ad hoc, egalitarian, face-to-face groups that are here today and 
gone or reorganized tomorrow. The multitude of nodes or cells within 
a movement structure can be loosely lumped into segments which hang 
together ideologically or in terms of preferred tactics. This factionalism 
functions to escalate the speed with which the movement grows and to 
bring about changed responses from the "establishment" more 
effectively than any one segment could do alone. In addition, fac- 
tionalism prevents takeover by any one segment through the 
mechanism of temporary coalitions between other segments to offset 
attempted control by one. 

Appendix F 241 

While a bureaucracy is segmented in the sense that it has divisions 
and departments, it is an organic whole in that its parts are designed to 
perform specialized tasks necessary to the functioning of the whole. 
Decapitate it, or destroy a vital organ, and the social organism ceases 
to function effectively. A SP(I)N, on the other hand, is composed of 
autonomous segments which are organizationally self-sufficient, any of 
which could survive the elimination of all of the others. The biological 
analogy of the bureaucratic mode of organization is the vertebrate, that 
of a SP(I)N, an earthworm. This is the feature of movement organization 
that is so frustrating to those who would like to suppress one or gain 
control of it. 

The second characteristic of the SP(I)N mode of organization is 
decentralization. Movements do not have a single paramount leader 
who can control or even speak for the entire movement. Each cell has 
its own cell or segment and may not be recognized as a leader by 
members of other segments of the movement. Leaders are often 
charismatic individuals who collect circles of devoted followers. Often, 
however as his segment grows, unsung organizational leaders rise to 
promote the functioning of the local groups identified with him, and 
the linked segments survive the death or jailing of the charismatic 
individual very well. Frequently a leader is no more than primus inter 
pares, or first among equals, who speaks for the group only on certain 
occasions and can influence consensus decision-making rather than 
make decisions for the group. Those who have tried to suppress a 
movement by silencing its most visible leaders find that they are coping 
with a hydra-headed monster where new leadership seems to pop up 
out of nowhere. In addition, any one leader has influence only within 
his own cell or segment and may not be known to active participants in 
other groups identified with the movement. 

The real key to understanding the power of a SP(I)N is recognizing 
the nature of the unifying forces that keep the structure from disin- 
tegrating. One of the forces that integrates a SP(I)N is a range of 
horizontal organizational linkages; the other is ideological. 

Non-vertical organizational linkages are of several types. First, there 
is overlapping membership. When numbers of people mobilize to effect 
social change, the segmented organizational pattern that emerges in- 
volves individual participation in more than one segment. Participants 
in any movement characteristically belong to, support, or interact with 
several different nodes in the network — sometimes nodes that are very 
differently organized and have apparently conflicting goals and 
ideological variations. Frequently the schismatic tendencies charac- 
teristic of the segmentary mode of organization result in a split within 
one node, like the well-publicized split within the Sierra Club leader- 
ship during the height of the environmental movement. This resulted 

242 Changing Images of Man 

in the formation of another organization, the Friends of the Earth, by 
the ousted faction. Many Sierra Club members, unscathed by the 
soul-searing eruption and at the core, cheerfully joined FOE while 
continuing to be active in the Sierra Club, forming linkages between 
the two groups in spite of their differences. 

There is a great deal of interaction between leaders of cells in a 
movement structure which may link a few local groups into a close 
association or connect hundreds of groups across the country in loose 
and indirect ways. Frequently the leader of one group will be a 
follower-member in another. Often the linkage is maintained by 
periodic visits by the leader of one group who speaks to or works with 
another's for a time. These types of ties tend to cement groups of 
similar ideology into large interacting segments, or may operate across 
segment lines linking groups with quite disparate forms of organization 
or ideological approach. 

Still another type of linkage is the "ritual activity" — the rallies, 
demonstrations, marches, conferences, revival meetings, joint activities 
of one sort or another. The temporary collaboration between disparate 
groups within the movement required by these types of activities cut 
across segment cleavages and bind the autonomous cells in significant, 
unifying events. 

Perhaps the most significant aspect of the segmentary mode of 
organization is the role of the ideological bond. The real glue of a 
SP(I)N is represented by the I in the parenthesis. The S, the P, and the N 
represent organizational factors which can be handled at the sociologi- 
cal level of analysis. But the power of a unifying idea adds a qualita- 
tively different element to the equation. The power lies in a deep 
commitment to a very few basic tenets shared by all. Agreement on all 
of the ideological variations would be non-functional for the seg- 
mentary form of organization. It is the passionate argument about 
these conflicting variations and about conflicting concepts of how to 
implement movement goals that keep the segments separate and in 
enough opposition to prevent an attempted takeover by any one 

The segmentary mode of organization is not a recent innovation, nor 
has it been useful only to those who want change. Many pre-industrial 
societies in Africa and the Middle East were organized according to the 
segmentary principle. It provided an efficient mode of organization for 
groups of several hundreds of thousands of people and tended to 
remain relatively stable over tens of thousands of years. This is in 
contrast to the hierarchical, stratified modes of organization which are 
notable for their inherent instability, in what has come to be known as 
the rise and fall of civilizations. In those societies structured on the 

Appendix F 243 

segmentary principle, unifying ideology was usually that of common 
ancestry. The classic example is the desert tribes in Arabia who were in 
continual fratricidal conflict but who always surprised their would-be 
conquerors by an incredible capacity to coalesce, apparently overnight, 
into a unified fighting force. 

It is impossible to explore properly, in this space, why the SP(I)N 
might be an adaptive pattern of social organization for the global 
society of the future. Suffice it to say that it is precisely the sort of 
pattern consistent with a vision of "the global village," "debureaucra- 
tization," "decentralization," and "re-humanization." In very practical 
terms, our research data suggest that the SP(I)N type of structure 
does several things: it encourages full utilization of individual and 
small-group innovation while minimizing the results of failure; it 
promotes maximum penetration of ideas across socio-economic and 
cultural barriers while preserving cultural and sub-cultural diversity; it 
is flexible enough to adapt quickly to changing conditions; and it puts a 
structural premium on egalitarian, personalistic relationship skills in 
contrast to the impersonalistic mode of interaction suited to the 
bureaucratic paradigm. 

How about the picture seen from the top down? It is suggested that 
we do indeed now have what "one-worlders" have been demanding for 
decades — a supra-national level of organization capable of reducing 
international conflict and assuming the task of global resource 
management. Rational attempts to invent such a structure — the League 
of Nations and then the United Nations — have failed, it is said, because 
they were built upon the very form of social organization they were 
designed to supersede — the nation state. I would suggest that these 
attempts also failed because their creators were unable to break out of 
the cultural assumption of the inevitability of the bureaucratic mode of 

What has, in fact, emerged is a qualitatively different form of 
organization, a novel mechanism of global management that is already 
functioning to make large-scale warfare impractical, therefore obsolete, 
and is in fact allocating global resources and managing global produc- 
tivity. Just as participants in grass roots movements often fail to 
recognize the organizational genius of the SP(I)N within which they 
are operating, and call for more centralized control, so many in- 
dividuals who are participants in the global management SP(I)N also 
fail to recognize it as an organizational structure. 

Academicians from a variety of disciplines use a variety of terms to 
describe the actors in this supranational network. Many speak of an 
"oligarchy." Others use terms like "global power elites," "managerial 
elites," and "global managers." Most of these discussions, of course, 

244 Changing Images of Man 

center around the phenomenal growth of the multinational cor- 
porations since World War II. Many are pointing out that this new 
level of organization is already beyond the capacity of the nation states 
to control it, as if the power of the multinational corporation and the 
authority of the nation state represented opposing forces. 

The most penetrating insight into the true nature of this emergent, 
supra-national level of social organization has come from anthro- 
pologist Alvin Wolfe who began to catch the outlines of it during his 
study of the mining industry in South Africa. He suggests that it is a 
new level of socio-cultural integration, a new system of social control 
"somewhat independent of the currently troublesome units, the nation 
states," though these are components. Wolfe calls it an "imperfectly 
bounded network" which "binds groups that are different both struc- 
turally and functionally." The segmentary nature of this global 
organizational structure becomes clearer as one pieces together the 
work of scholars like Wolfe, the Center's Neil Jacoby, G. William 
Domhoff, Richard N. Goodwin in his The American Condition, and 
Richard Barnet's and Ronald Muller's Global Reach. 

The four major segments of the global management network are 
upper level decision-makers in the multi-national corporations, in in- 
ternational financial institutions, in the governments of both in- 
dustrialized and underdeveloped "host" countries, and representatives 
of powerful families in Europe, the Americas, the Middle East, South 
Africa, the Philippines and Asia. 

In our analysis of the SP(I)Ns at the grass roots level, we noted that 
some of the component segments within the network are hierarchically 
organized and centrally controlled but that the network as a whole was 
polycentric, no one component able to exert control over the rest. 
Wolfe and others note the same characteristic of the supra-national 
network. Multinational corporations are organized according to 
different modes, some using a decentralized mode of operation trans- 
nationally and some maintaining highly centralized control in the 
international headquarters. Nation states also vary in the degree of 
centralization. In any case, the internal structure of any one component 
in a SP(I)N is irrelevant to the structure of the network as a whole. As 
Wolfe points out, at the global level of operation, even the most 
bureaucratic segments "lose their hierarchical/centralized/pyramidal 
structure" and interact with the upper echelons of other corporations, 
governments, financial institutions and family representatives in an 
"interlocking/overlapping structure." He stresses the lack of absolute 
power in the hands of any of the components. Even though this 
relatively small group of global decision-makers may have absolute 
power within their own segments, the conflicting goals and interests of 

Appendix F 245 

different segments prevent permanent structural unity, and therefore 
centralized control by any one group. 

Examining the types of linkages that bind the segments of the global 
network, we find some remarkable parallels with the types of linkages 
we observed in the grass roots SP(I)Ns. Where we saw patterns of 
overlapping memberships and personal ties between leaders in a 
movement, students of the global power structure note such linking 
mechanisms as interlocking directorships, common shareholdings, 
shared subsidiaries (often by a multinational corporation and the 
government of a "host" country), and the well-documented 
phenomenon of interchangeability of personnel. 

The rise of a "managerial elite" provides another linking 
mechanism. Networks of personal ties are formed as corporate execu- 
tives move from one hierarchy to another in their ascent to positions of 
global influence. 

The temporary coalition of segments in a grass roots movement for a 
specific activity has parallels in the global power structure in the 
phenomenon of the "project team." The rise of temporary, special-task 
organizations leads to what Alvin Toffler calls "adhocracy," sets of 
horizontal linkages that cut across bureaucratic hierarchies. It involves 
flexible formation, dissolution and reformation of teams drawn from 
different levels within a bureaucratic hierarchy and from comparable 
levels in other corporate or governmental hierarchies, and requires a 
type of interaction that is more characteristic of network interchange 
than formal hierarchy. 

The linking function of the revival meeting, the demonstration, the 
rally, and the "ritual activities" of the grass roots SP(I)Ns is paralleled 
in the global managerial network by a variety of overlapping social 
clubs and policy organizations. G. William Dumhoff has documented 
the role of social clubs in cementing personal ties and creating ideolo- 
gical consensus among corporate executives, financial leaders, high 
level government officials, and members of powerful families under 
such irreverent titles as "How the Fat Cats Keep in Touch." The 
powerful meet not only in exclusive playgrounds among the California 
redwoods, but in policy-making groups like the Business Council, the 
Council of Foreign Relations, the Committee for Economic Develop- 
ment which supply personnel for a wide range of special commissions 
and important government appointments. 

The power of ideology to unify an organizationally segmented struc- 
ture is the key to understanding the emerging paradigm. This unify- 
ing force has very little to do with external "agreement." The outside 
observer of any SP(I)N sees mostly conflicting ideological stances and 
divergent goals. The binding force, as noted earlier, is in the commit- 

246 Changing Images of Man 

ment to a few basic and shared assumptions. The ideological conflict 
between variations on these basic themes, manifested in the structural 
diversity, produced what some have called the "fission-fusion" tension. 
Components within the global SP(I)N shift patterns of alliances — 
antagonists on one set of issues or problems and "bedfellows" in 
tackling the next. Individual participants in the global SP(I)N seem to 
have a remarkable capacity for shifting loyalties. They can function at 
the upper level of a number of types of organization — governmental or 
corporate — even though the functions of the different organizations 
may be conflicting. It is the power of a shared conceptual framework 
that keeps a SP(I)N unified and makes it possible for individuals to 
shift allegiances within it. It is the conflicting concepts of goals-means 
that prevent any one segment from taking permanent control over all 
the others. 

The point here is to recognize the power of a r °w basic assumptions 
to unify organizationally disparate groups. It is the key to recognizing 
this qualitatively different mode of organization — one so alien to the 
bureaucratically minded that it appears to be either non-existent or is 
interpreted as a "conspiracy." Many observers of the protest move- 
ments during the Sixties fell into both traps. The first trap is now 
catching people who press for legislation requiring dismantling of large 
corporations or tighter control over multinationals by nation states. 
This is to misunderstand the organizational structure binding the 
upper levels of the corporate giants and the nation states into a 
network of shared and conflicting interests. The "conspiracy" trap 
catches many particularly in discussions of the oil crisis. As Goodwin 
points out, there is no need for conspiracy. It is only necessary that 
managers, corporate or governmental, understand and follow the 
"rules of behavior dictated by the structure that binds them" and the 
"set of stable assumptions," often unspoken, that inform decision- 
making. Decisions made by people who share assumptions, even 
though there has been no discussion between them, will produce 
actions so similar that there appears to be collusion even though the 
actors themselves feel they occupy conflicting positions. 

We would argue that the SP(I)N mode of organization is not only a 
viable one for a global society, more functional than the bureaucratic 
mode of the passing era, but that it is in fact the one that is emerging 
whether we choose it or not. Both the powerless and the powerful have 
utilized it as they have tried to meet the changing conditions. The 
powerless find it functional in fighting inequities. The powerful have 
found it workable as they expanded their sphere of activity beyond 
national boundaries to the global scene. Though it is beyond the scope 
of this paper, there is increasing evidence of many middle-range 

Appendix F 247 

regional and transnational networks cutting across traditional vertical 
lines of power. The principle of "horizontal" integration is emerging at 
many levels. 

None of these SP(I)Ns have emerged as a result of rational 
planning. Like any other evolutionary novelty, they emerge out of 
functional necessity. Only after the fact can we bring reason and logic 
to bear in understanding what is happening and is making rational 
decisions about what might facilitate or inhibit the changes. If this 
model of the emerging paradigm has any validity, the organizational 
structure of the future is already being created by the most as well as 
the least powerful within the present paradigm. It is very clear, 
however, that the ideologies which inform SP(I)Ns at the two levels 
are diametrically opposed. Perhaps one of the crucial tasks in the 
immediate future is to clarify and expose the underlying assumptions 
that provide the ideological "glue" for SP(I)Ns emerging at various 
levels of the global social structure. The key to the future may very well 
be conceptual rather than organizational. 


Aaronson, B., and Osmond, H. 92, 151 

Abundance, poverty of 50-52 

Acupuncture 87 

Adamenko, V. G. 96 

Adelman, I., and Morris, C. T. 57 

Adey, W. R. 86 

Affluence, freedom in 53, 55-56 

Age of Faith 26-27 

Ahura Mazda 23 

Allen, F. L. 51 

American Creed 35-40, 63, 64 

American Humanist Association 31 

American Psychological Association 83 

Anand, B. K., Chhina, G. S., and Singh, 

B. 92 
Anderson, M., and White, R. 95 
Angra Mainyu 23 
Anokhin, P. 86 
Appositional mind 84 
Aquinas, T. 27 
Arbib, M. 74 
Ardrey, R. 28, 29 
Arendt, H. 71 
Aristotle 25, 104 
Artificial intelligence 79 
Aserinsky, E., and Kleitman, N. 90 
Ashby, W. R. 73, 100 
Assagioli, R. 93, 125, 129, 130, 136, 151 
Association for Humanistic Psychology 

Association for Transpersonal Psychology 

Augustine, Saint 27 
Aurobindo, Sri 93, 125, 132, 153, 222 
Awareness, gradient of 128-129 

Backster, C. 134 

Barber, T. X. 89 

Barnothy, M. 87 

Barron, F. 151 

Bateson, G. 99, 102 

Baudouin, C. 4, 153 

Beal, J. B. 96 

Beale, G. 71 

Becker, R. O. 86 

Behaviorism, view of modern 29-30 

Behavioristic man 166 

Bellman, R. 175 

Bernal, J. D. 82 

Bertalanffy see von Bertalanffy 

Bioelectric fields 86-87 

Biofeedback 85,89-90,151 

Biological freudianism 81 

Biological rhythms 86-87 

Bogen, J. 84 

Bohm, D. 72 

Bohr, N. 75 

Boulding, E. xv, 2, 17, 49, 81, 90, 145, 151, 

Boulding, K. E. 100, 153 
Boisen, A. T. 146, 147 
Brain research 72, 83-86 
Brand, W. G. and L. W. 95 
Bremerman, H. J. 72 
Brinton, C., el al. 46 
Bronowski, J. 76 
Brooks, C. H. 4, 149, 153 
Bucke, R. M. 35 
Buckley, W. 100 
Bureaucrats 8 

Cahoon, D. xv, 177, 179, 233-234 

Campbell, D. T. 104, 132 

Campbell, J. vii, xv, xx, xxii, 7, 125, 146, 

149, 152 
Casteneda, C. 91 
Cerebral cortex 100 
Chaitanya, K. 87 
Chapanis, A. 78 
Chaudhuri, H. 151 
China 21, 22 
Christianity 23, 46-47 
Churchill, W. 177 
Ciba Foundation 102 
Cicero 36 

Civilization, literate 21 
Claiborne, R. 54 
Clairvoyance 95 
Clark, K. B. 30, 83, 84, 86 
Clifford, W. 75 
Collins, K. vii, xviii 
Colquhoun, W. P. 86 
Commoner, B. 79 
Computer sciences 78 
Conant, J. B. 68 




Conceptual feasibility 138-141 

Consciousness research 87-94,116,134, 138 

Control deficiencies 59 

Copernicus, N. 27, 67, 71 

Cosmic consciousness 34-35 

Coue, E. 4 

Creativity 34, 85 

Cultural diffusion 17 

Cummins, G. 132 

Cybernetics 78, 99-102 

Darwin, C. 28-29, 67, 71, 80, 81 

Dean, E. D. 95 

de Beauvoir, S. 178 

Deficiency needs 129 

Deikman, A. 92, 116 

Delgado, J. 30, 83, 84, 85 

de Ropp, R. S. 69 

Deutsch, M. 69 

Dixon, H. L. vii 

Dixon, N. F. 71, 93, 97 

Dobzhansky, T. 80 

Dole, S. H. 82 

Downs, A. 55 

Dreaming 90-91 

Duane, T. D., and Behrendt, T. 95 

Dubos, R. vii, xv, xxiii, 58-59, 71, 79, 81, 

178, 231 
Dumhoff, G. W. 244 
Dunn, E. S., jr. xv, 121, 125, 138, 140, 142, 

156, 180 
Dunne, J. W. 91 

Earth, developed nations of 13 

Earth ecology 10 

Easterlin, R. 52 

Eccles, J. 97 

Ecological ethic 114 

Economic image, growing impotence of 

Economic man, image of 45-64 
Eddington, A. S. 76 
Edelstein, K. L. 104 
Education: aim of society 174 
Ehrlich, P. R. 79 
Einstein, A. 75, 76, 85 
Electrical stimulation of the brain 

(ESB) 84, 86 
Electroencephalograph (EEG) patterns 

88, 90, 92, 98 
Elgin, D. vii 
Eliade, M. 1, 137 
Eliot, T. S. 137 
Elsasser, W. 81 
Emerson, R. W. 34 

Emmet, D. xxi 

Englebart, D. C. 78 

Epimetheus 68-69 

Epistemology 104, 105 

Erasmus, D. 36 

Erikson, E. 146 

Ethics 38-39, 221-223, 225-227, 230-231, 

Ethnological man 166 
Ethnology, the "other" 167 
Evans, W. O., and Kline, N. S. 93 
Everett, A. 77 
Evolutionary transformationalist image 

63-64, 165, 171-180, 205 
Exobiology 82 
Extrasensory perception (ESP) 71, 91, 95, 

96, 220, 223 
Extraterrestrial intelligence 82 

Fadiman, J. xv 

Faraday, A. 91 

Farberow, N. 71 

Farrington, D. 104 

Fascism, friendly 169, 170-171, 234 

Ferguson, M. xx 

Fingarette, H. 147 

Fischer, R. 77, 85, 86 

Fisher, Sir Ronald 101 

Forbes, R. J. 45 

Fox, S. W. 82 

Frank, J. D. 120 

Franklin, W. vii, xviii 

Free will 37 

Freud, S. 28, 68, 81, 90, 91, 93, 129, 166, 

Fromm, E. 178 
Fuller, R. B. 73, 79 
Functions 7-8 
Fundamental anomaly 

nature of 190-191 

resolution of 191-194 
Future shock 163, 234 
Future trends, contrasting 164-166 

Galbraith, J. K. 45, 193 

Galileo, G. 27, 71, 171 

Galvani, L. 83 

Garfield, E. 79 

General Systems Theory 99-102 

Genetics 81 

Gerlach, L. P. xv, xxi, 148, 238-239 

Germany 155-156 

Gestalt Therapy 3, 118, 145, 152-153, 

Gnostic path 24 



Goals, individual and social 173-175 
Goedel 72, 79 
Goertzel, V. and M. G. 147 
Good versus evil 36 
Gordon, W. J. 151 
Gradient 125-133, 205 
Graves, C. 52, 130 
Greek views 24-25 
Green, E. 96 

Gross, B. M. 40, 165, 166, 169, 170 
Gross national product (GNP), growth 
of 53-54 

Haldane, J. B. S. 79 

Ham (son of Noah) 22-23 

Hampden-Turner, C. xv, 41, 132 

Handler, P. 80, 82-83 

Harman, W. vii, xvii, 67 

Harman, W., Markley, O., and Rhyne, 

R. xvii 
Hastings, A. vii 
Hastings Center 14 
Hawthorne effect 74 
Hayes, W. 81 
Healer, J. 86 
Heard, G. 159 
Heilbroner, R. 47, 48, 57, 157 
Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle 74 
Hess, W. R. 83 
Hilgard, E. 71, 88 
Hine, V. H. xx, 238-247 
History, alternative interpretation of 

Hobbes, T. 36, 166 
Hoffer, E. 3 
Holistic sense of perspective 112, 114, 

121, 139, 140, 155, 160 
Hollander, S. 59 
Holon 32-33, 135 
Honorton, C. 95 
Hubbard, L. R. 125, 132, 151 
Hubble, E. 76 
Hudson Institute 8, 164 

as beast 28-29 

as evolving holon 32-33 

as mechanism 29-30 

as person 30-31 

as spirit 33-35 

attributes, categories of 3 

biocomputer, gradient in 127-129 

history, contrasting epochs of 12 

morality, gradient of 130-132 

needs, gradient of 129-130 

numbers, growth of 9 

systems 10 

Humanistic Capitalism 167 

Gestalt perception of 3 

image of 1, 53, 54, 62 et seq., 112-122, 

throughout history 18-20 
Humans as species 79-81 
Huss, J. 27 
Hutchins, R. 174 
Huxley, A. 33, 125, 154, 167 
Huxley, J. 78, 81 
Hynek, J. A. 71 
Hypnosis 88-89, 99 

Image of man 

definition of 2-3 

early 17-22 

economic 45-64 

evolutionary 124-161 

historical and modern 17-37 

operational feasibility of new 141-161 

supportive 170 
Image /society resolution, in search 

of 56-62 

subsystem and supersystem 135-136 

transpersonal and personal 133-135 

and social policy 1-2 

consequences of changing 163-181 

contrasts between alternative 168 
Incremental change 120 
Incubation 148 
India 21, 22, 23, 33, 36 
Individual identity 53, 55, 165 
Individualism 46-47 
Industrial era, recent 53, 62 
Industrial state 

control of 58-61 

paradigm 64, 206 

power of 57-58 
Inflation 14 

Information systems 223-225 
Inkeles, A. 57 
Inspiration 34 
Institutions 175-177 
Interdependence, increasing 60-61 
Internal dynamic 62 

Jaeger, W. 174 

Jeans, J. H. 76 

Jefferson, T. 36 

Johnson, R. 135 

Judeo-Christian view of man 104, 140 



Judge, A. 222 

Jung, C. G. 77, 90, 125, 138 

Kahn, H., and Bruce-Briggs, B. 9 

Kamiya, J. 85, 89 

Kantor, R. E. 125, 147 

Kelley, D. M. 158-159 

Kelvin, P. 71 

Keniston, K. 51,57,59,62 

Keynes, J. M. 51 

Kinser, B., and Kleinman, N. 155 

Klapp, O. E. 31 

Kleitman, N., and Dement, W. C. 71 

Knower — Gnostic View 23-24 

Knowledge paradigm 144 

Koestler, A. 97, 135 

Kohlberg, L. 125, 130, 131, 132 

Kozyrev, N. A. 97 

Krippner, S. xv, 71, 73, 88, 91, 92, 94, 95, 

130, 138, 151 
Kropotkin, Prince P. A. 28, 29, 221 
Krueger, A. P. 86 
Kuhn, T. S. 69-70, 98, 144, 145, 146, 149, 

150, 161, 187 
Kuznets, S. 59 

Land, G. T. 132 

Laszlo, E. xv, xx, 79, 102, 124, 160 

Lavoisier commission 71 

Leary, T. 195 

LeShan, L. 77, 99 

Life-in-nature, community of 115 

Life, origin of 82-83 

Lifton, R. J. 1 

Lilly, J. C. 94, 124, 129 

Locke, J. 29, 36, 121, 167 

Lodge, G. C. xv, 122 

Lonergan, B. 87 

Lorenz, K. 28 

Lovejoy, A. O. 47 

Lowe, A. 193 

Luce, G. 87 

Luckman, B. 64 

Luthe, W. 89 

Luther, M. 27 

Machiavelli, N. 36 
Mackay, D. M. 223 
Malinowski, B. K. 7 

and nature 38 

as master 47-48 

as process 136-138 

as growth of population 10 

Man-in-the-universe, images of 17, 42, 69, 

77, 120, 133, 135, 143, 177 
Manifold trend 14 
Mankind, past and future history of 11, 

Manning, S. vii 
Margenau, H. vii, xv, 70, 72, 74, 76, 77, 95, 

105, 160-161, 229-230 
Marien, M. xv, 1,6, 38, 40, 92, 1 15, 132, 139, 

151, 155, 156, 159, 161, 163, 169, 176 
Markley, O. W. vii 

Markley, O., Curry, D., and Rink, D. xviii 
Martin, P. W. 91, 125, 145, 147, 148, 156 
Maruyama, M. vii, xv, 32, 110, 118, 119, 

122, 140 
Maslow, A. 52, 125, 128, 129, 150, 172 
Masters, R. E., and Houston, J. 92, 151, 

153-154, 220-221 
Material distribution, problems of 1 
Matson, F. vii 
Maxwell, J. C. 75 
May, R. 46, 47 
Mazeway 143, 144 
McBain, W. N. 134 
McHale, J. vii, 9, 10, 11 
McKinney, D. vii 
McLuhan, M. 78 
Mead, M. vii, xv, 49, 56, 125, 136, 145, 

Meadows, D. 79 
Meadows, D., et al. xviii 
Meditation 91-92 
Mendel, G. J. 70, 80 
Mesthene, E. G. 59 
Metaprograms 129 
Metzner, R. xv, 41, 42, 116 
Michael, D. vii, 60, 157, 231 
Miller, D. C, and Form, W. H. 45 
Miller, N. E. 85, 89 
Miller, S. L. 82 
Mind versus matter 38 
Minsky, M. L. 79 
Modern society, relevance of images 

to 3-15 
Molecular biology 81 
Monod, J. 80 
Monomyth 146, 149 
Moral development, stages of 131 
Morality 38-39 
More, T. 36 
Morrisson, P. 71 
Mortal versus immortal 38 
Moss, T. 95, 96 
Multifold Trend of Western Culture 8-9, 

Mumford, L. 146 
Muses, C. 94, 97 



Myers, F. W. H. 93, 135 
Myrdal, G. 35-37, 40 
Mythic transformations 146-147 
Myths, current 8 

Nancy school of psychology 4 

Natural law 47 

New Empire 27-28 

New scarcity 191-193, 196-197 

Newton, I. 27, 67, 74, 85 

Noah 22 

Noyes, R. 71 

Process theology 121 
Production, factors of 45 
Promethean-Epimethean conflict 69 
Prometheus 68-69 
Propositional mind 84 
Protestant Ethic 48 
Psychedelic drugs 92-93 
Psychic research 74, 94-99, 103 
Psycho-civilized society 30, 40, 84 
Psychokinesis 95, 98 
Psychological relativity 85 
Psychotechnologies 84, 170 
Puthoff, H., and Targ, R. 98 

Oates, J. C. 105 

Oistraker, A. 82 

Ontogenesis 142 

Operant conditioning 30 

Operational feasibility 157-161 

O'Regan, B. vii 

Orne, M. 74 

Ostrander, S., and Schroeder, L. 96 

Ouspensky, P. D. 125 

Paidea 174 

definition of 160-161, 205 

in transmutation 68-72 

possibly emergent 102-109 
Parapsychology 94-99 
Paul of Tarsus, Saint 26 
Pearce, J. C. 13 
Pearson, L. 13 
Perceptions 4, 85 
Perennial Philosophy 33-35, 41, 124, 135, 

167, 183 
Perls, F. S. 91, 152-153 
Personal change 152 
Personal transformations 147-148 
Personal-transpersonal mind/body model 

Phylogenesis 142 
Physical sciences 78-87 
Physics and cosmology, modern 75-77 
Pillsbury, B. vii 
Planck, M. K. E. L. 75 
Plato 25, 30 

Piatt, J. R. vii, 88, 101, 123, 235 
Polak, F. 17, 120, 154 
Polanyi, M. 70, 85, 118, 124, 132, 173, 223 
Pollution 14 
Population biology 79 
Precognition 95 
Presman, A. S. 86, 90 
Problems, societal 13 

Quantum theory 77 
Quarton, G. 170 
Quigley, C. 146 

Rapid eye movement (REM) 88, 90 

Rational beings 55 

Rationalism 46 

Regulation 38-39 

Reinhold, H. A. 134 

Reiser, O. 40 

Renaissance 46, 47, 104 

Rhine, J. B., and Pratt, J. G. 95 

Rhine, L. E. 95, 96 

Rhyne, R. xvii 

Rima, I. H. 47, 54 

Robotomorphic images 86 

Roethlisberger, F., and Dickson, W. 74 

Rogers, C. R. xv, xx 

Rogers, E. 59 

Roll, W. G. 96 

Rome 26 

R0rvik, D. 151 

Rosenthal, R. 74 

Rousseau, J. -J. 36 

Ryzl, M. 95 

Saint-Exupery, A. de 108 

Salk, J. xviii, 11, 12, 79, 102, 139 

Saoshyant 23 

Satin, M. xx 

Schlegel, R. 73, 102 

Schmeidler, G., and McConnell, R. 95 

Schmookler, J. 59 

Schneider, L. vii 


conceptual revolutions in 144-145 

influence of 67-110 

limitations of classical 68-75 

normal 70 

of consciousness 94 



Science and society, interaction be- 
tween 102-105 

inquiry, crucial frontiers in 75-102 

knowledge 8 

paradigm 69-70, 75 

progress, limitations of 72-75 
Secular progress 47 
Segmented polycephalous network 

[SP(I)N] 240-247 
Self 133-138 

Self-realization ethic 115-116 
Seligman, D. 158 
Semitic tradition 22-23, 37 
Sense of the whole 14 
Shainess, N. 71 
Silberman, C. E. 55 
Simon, H. 119 

Skinner, B. F. xv, 30, 71, 117, 129, 173 
Slater, P. E. 56 
Smith, A. 191 

Smith, R. A. xv, 150, 156, 157, 176 
Snow, C. P. xxii, 157 
Social change, analyzing 14 
Social ethics 225-227 

changes 60 

choices 163-180 

problems, interconnected impact of 7 

progress, measures of 59 

realities 52-56 

reform 10 

systems 60-61 
Sociogenesis 142 
Socrates 25, 30, 36 
Sparks, L. 88 
Spencer, H. 29 
Split-brain research 84, 86 
Stent, G. 70, 71 

Strategies, comparison of basic 186-190 
Strategies for transformation 182-199 
Stulman, J. 40 
Subliminal perception 97-98 
Subliminal stimulation 93, 97 
Sullivan, H. S. 147 
Superconscious 93-94, 206 
Symbiosis 119 
Symbolic thinking 1 
Synergy 74 
Szent-Gyorgi, A. 73 

Taboos 71, 72 

Taoistic philosophy 22 

Targ, R., and Hurt, D. 96 

Tarski, A. 72 

Tart, C. T. 91,92,94,95,125,134 

Taylor, S. vii 

Technological ethic 25 

Technological extrapolationist image 63, 

166-171, 182, 206 
Technological imperative 53, 54-55 
Technological /industrial era, problems 

of 6 
Technology, highly developed system 

of 6-7 
Teilhard de Chardin, P. 81, 93, 125, 220 
Telepathy 95 

Thermodynamics, Second Law of 78 
Thomas, W. I. 4 
Thompson, W. 233-234 
Thought photography 98 
Thrasymachus 36 
Toffler, A. 163, 234, 245 
Toynbee, A. 125, 146 
Transcendentalism, new 71 

cycle of 146, 148, 206 

strategies for 182-199 
Transformational discovery 159 
Transition, non-disruptive 194-199 
Trehub, A. 83 
Trobriand Islanders 7 
Tumin, M. 54 

Ullman, M., and Krippner, S. 91, 95 
Unconscious processes 93 
Unemployment 14 
Unidentified flying objects (UFOs) 71, 

United States 13, 14, 17, 24, 39, 40, 117, 
171, 186 

Bureau of Mines 12 

dominant image in 39 

Office of Education xvii, xviii 

urbanization in 10 
Universe, new conception of 21 
Urban-industrial environment 64 
Utilitarian values 53 

Vedic era of India 33, 38 
Vendanta philosophy 22 
Vickers, Sir Geoffrey vii, xv, xx, 33, 116, 

von Bertalanffy, L. 99, 100, 124 
von Foerster, H. 80, 81 

Waddington, C. H. 80 
Walker, E. H. 96, 97 
Wallace, Alfred 29 



Wallace, Anthony F. C. xv, 125, 142-143, 

144, 145, 146, 148, 150, 187 
Wallace, G. 148, 149 
Wallace, R. K. 91 
War, threat of 14 
Watson, J. B. 29, 80 
Weiss, P. 80, 100, 101, 118, 124, 131 
Weisskopf, V. F. 86 
Weisskopf, W. A. 119, 127 
Weitzenhoffer, A. 88 
Weizenbaum, J. 60 
Western Culture 

Basic Long-term Multifold Trend of 8-9 

conceptual paradigm of 140 

editorial function of 8 
Wheeler, J. 76 
White, J. xv, 21,94 
White, L. 48 
Whitehead, A. N. 121 
Whitehead, C. 170 
Wiener, N. 99, 100, 101, 137, 175 

Wigner, E. 77 

Wilson, A. and D. 59 

Wirt, J., Lieberman, A., and Levien, 

R. 146 
Witkin, H. A. 91 
Wolf, W. 116 
Woodruff, W. 48 
World hunger 14 
World population 11, 12 
World reserves, depletion of 12 
Wycliffe, J. 27 

Yankelovitch, D. 158 
Yoga meditation 92, 151 
Yogi 21, 22, 118 
Youngblood, G. 78 

Zen meditation 92 
Zoroastrianism 22-23, 24, 27, 

Prepared by The Center for the Study of 
Social Policy/SRI International 

Edited by 

O. W. Markley and 
Willis W. Harman 

Stanford Research Institute {now SRI International) released a 
report in 1974 that has become a classic in the "alternative 
futures" literature. It has been adopted as a text in non- 
traditional courses at more than a dozen universities and 
reprinted repeatedly by SRI. 

Changing Images of Man explores the reasons why changes 
may have to take place in the fundamental conceptual 
premises, laws, attitudes and ethics once suitable for guiding 
the development of the United States and other highly 
industrialized nations if a humane (and "workable") future is 
to be achievable. It discusses the evidence that such changes 
may be occurring and the possibility that an evolutionary 
transformation may be underway that is at least as profound 
as the transition in Europe when the Medieval Age gave way 
to the rise of science and the Industrial Revolution. 


Explorations of World Order